Ruth Asawa began making art as a teenager while forcibly detained by the US government in an internment camp during World War II alongside her family and thousands of other people of Japanese descent, including animators from Walt Disney, who helped her learn to draw and paint. After moving to San Francisco in 1949, Asawa began constructing suspended sculptures, transforming everyday industrial materials – rough brass, steel, and heavy copper wire – into sinuous and graceful spherical forms, which, although three-dimensional in volume, do not contain any interior mass. Inspired by a basket weaving technique learned during a 1947 summer trip to Mexico while she was at Black Mountain College, Asawa’s looped-wire sculptures like Untitled (S.030, Hanging Eight Separate Cones Suspended through Their Centers; c. 1952) are grounded in the singular qualities of her chosen material. Making use of wire’s capacity for malleability, translucency, and solidity, the hanging sculpture Untitled (S.101, Hanging Single-Lobed, Five-Layered Continuous Form within a Form; c. 1962) is comprised of a series of translucent wire cocoons – a form that gives the work’s surface a womblike identity. In their suggestion of waves, plants, and trees, Asawa’s supple forms make particular use of the formal connection between the interior and exterior surfaces of the work, a relationship that the artist long described as interdependent and integral.