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Photo Credit: Tim Burleson

Ruth Asawa (Primary)

Double Sheet Stamp

20th century
Medium & Support
Stamped ink on newsprint
Support: 17 1/8 x 22 in.
Object Type
Credit Line
Black Mountain College Collection, gift of Aiko & Laurence Cuneo
Accession Number
In Copyright
© Ruth Asawa Lanier, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Vertical columns of the words "double stamped" the words have a variable distance apart previous set.

Label History

Asawa enrolled at Black Mountain College in the summer 1946. There she studied art with Josef Albers. In summer 1948, when Asawa was in charge of the college laundry, she used the rubber stamps “BMC,” SINGLE SHEET,” and “DOUBLE SHEET” to create a series of studies. Here the “DOUBLE SHEET” stamp is used to form a pattern. Degrees of density and the suggestion of three-dimensions are achieved by variations in spacing. By inverting the image in selected rows, she adds interest and variety as well as abstraction in that the words cannot be read horizontally across the page. These exercises were intended to train the eye and hand through repetition and to open the students’ eyes to the complexity of visual perception. Asawa lived in San Francisco with her husband Albert Lanier, whom she met at Black Mountain College. She was a sculptor, painter, and printmaker, as well as an activist for the arts in education.

Exhibition Title: Asheville Art Museum: An Introduction to the Collection
Label Date: 2021
Type: Catalogue Entry
Written by: Mary Emma Harris


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