The Faces of Ruth Asawa

Exhibition Website

From the mid-1960s through 2000, Asawa created individual masks out of clay - cast from the faces of friends and family - and hundreds of these ceramic face masks used to hang on her family's home exterior.

In 2020, the Cantor acquired Untitled (LC.012, Wall of Masks) and they are now on long-term view at the museum, marking the first time this work has been shown in its entirety at any museum or public institution.

The focused exhibition, The Faces of Ruth Asawa, will feature the masks and three vessels by Asawa’s son Paul Lanier. These special vessels were created with clay mixed with the ashes of Asawa, her husband Albert, and their late son, Adam. Upon Asawa’s death—per her request—Lanier took this material and threw a set of vessels, one for each remaining sibling. The three included in The Faces of Ruth Asawa were borrowed from the family. Their inclusion in the exhibition further demonstrates Asawa’s deeply intimate connection to clay.​

​Credit: Overview from museum website

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