The Pace Gallery 510 W 25th St, NYC
Feb 12, 2011 - Mar 19, 2011
See website for images from this current exhibition: The Pace Gallery
In her latest series, "Drawings (Pins)", on view this month at the Pace Gallery in Chelsea, shimmering metallic "canvases" are composed of dressmaker pins — tens of thousands of them. The cumulative effect is almost painterly. While these works are two-dimensional, they deal with the same issues as her "site-responsive" sculptures, as she calls them: "It’s all about perceiving this material from a distance and close up and how the light interacts with it."
-- Julia Curtin amarcordian (more)
The new series, which in fact arose from a stretch of print-making, is a perceptual delight, with light striking the pins in such a way that some clusters appear as inky black, others as gray, still others as shimmery silver, like a lake glancing in the setting winter sun.
-- ARTINFO (more)
While the majority of the drawings on view are visual fields that radiate from different light sources (determined by the density of pins on the surface area), two of the earliest works in the show depict clusters of circular organic shapes evoking cellular or molecular forms.
-- The Pace Gallery | Pace Press Release (more- pdf)
Tara Donovan.mov (Video: PacePrints)
Tara Donovan builds large, labor-intensive, and site-specific installations out of everyday materials such as scotch tape, drinking straws, paper plates, roofing paper and Styrofoam cups. Donovan takes these materials and grows them through accumulation. The results are large-scale abstract floor and wall works suggestive of landscapes, clouds, cellular structures and even mold or fungus. In her words, "it is not like I'm trying to simulate nature. It's more of a mimicking of the way of nature, the way things actually grow."
-- Pace Prints Tara Donovan Artist Portfolio (more)
What appeared to be a question of object/non-object has turned out to be a question of seeing and not seeing, of how it is we actually perceive or fail to perceive “things” in their real contexts. Now we are presented and challenged with the infinite, everyday richness of “phenomenal” perception (and the potential for a corresponding “phenomenal art,” with none of the customary abstract limitations as to form, place, materials and so forth) – one which seeks to discover and value the potential for experiencing beauty in everything.
-- Robert Irwin, Being and Circumstance: Notes Toward a Confidential Art
A scattershot history of Tara Donovan's artwork:
Tara Donovan, Untitled (Toothpicks), 2004 (Image: Andrew Russeth)
In the mid-1990s, Tara Donovan was experimenting in her studio when serendipity struck. She knocked over a big box of toothpicks, picked it up, and then noticed that the spilled contents had latticed into a shape that echoed the perfect corner of their container.
-- Jen Mergel and Nicholas Baume, in Tara Donovan (more, including an excerpted interview from the book)
Tara Donovan .|. Toothpicks .|. 2004 (video: reel aesthete)
Donovan knows, too, when to manipulate illusions. It would be a mistake to ask her materials to mean something specific, to distinguish them from a model landscape in a science museum. They do not raise challenging associations with America's social fabric as process or wasteland… They do not reimagine a gallery opening at which the same opaque plastic would serve ecologically correct wine… Rather, their impulse is simultaneously domestic and formal, like the visual overflow of a dream.
-- John Haber (more)
Untitled (Styrofoam Cups) (Image: mike)
My notion of the “field” is essentially co-opted from discussions of high modernist abstract painting, in which the edge of the canvas is understood as the only delimiting factor in what would otherwise be an infinite plane extending in all directions. For me, the architecture of a space is the only delimiting factor of my work. I don’t really invest too much thought into making precise distinctions between what is a sculpture, installation, or landscape. I think that debate and the resulting collapse of such categories occurred in the ’60s and ’70s, and contemporary artists such as myself get to enjoy the fruits of that polemic.
-- Tara Donovan "Prelude: A Discussion with Tara Donovan" (Art:21) (more)
Tara Donovan, Lever House (Image: Peter Sealy)
The effect common to every installation–wrought in each instance out of workaday materials–is the protean appearance of its objects from afar. From across the gallery, Untitled (Mylar Tape) (2008) evokes not the frank banality of its medium, mentioned in the title, so much as a commingling of nacreous shellfish or a cluster of seaborne invertebrates, huddled and glinting against the gallery walls. Only on closer inspection do they reveal themselves to be mere loops of reflective tape.
-- Ara H. Merjian Frieze (more- pdf)
Tara Donovan at Lever House, NYC (May 2009) (video: ballenato63)
As the team gathered around to look at her handiwork, which remained contained in a neat rectangle by the wooden frame, the broken glass began to crackle and pop, like thousands of Rice Krispies.
-- Carol Kino, in "The Genius of Little Things" (New York Times) (more)
View New York Times slideshow
Preserving Art: Untitled (Plastic Cups) Indianapolis Museum of Art on ArtBabble
"Haze" 2003, a giant installation of clear drinking straws, came crashing down when installed at Ace Gallery in New York a few years back–a far cry from the danger of a looming Richard Serra lead prop, to be sure, though a way bigger mess to clean up. Still, the point isn't just about this particular moment of literal undoing, but rather the way Donovan's work courts demise, a death drive no less insistent for being rendered so exquisitely.
-- Suzanne Hudson ArtForum (more- pdf)
Tara Donovan on Wikipedia
Tara Donovan at The Pace Gallery
Tara Donovan at Stephen Friedman Gallery
Tara Donovan at the Met (past exhibition)