Tara Donovan (b. 1969, New York) creates sculpture, drawings, prints, and large-scale installations that transform the banality of everyday objects into the extraordinary. Known for her commitment to process, she has earned acclaim for her ability to discover the inherent physical characteristics of an object and for her exploration into the nature of accumulation. Donovan’s many accolades include the prestigious MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award (2008) and the first annual Calder Prize (2005), among others. She has been the subject of several major solo exhibitions at museums including the Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York (2015); Milwaukee Art Museum (2012); The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2007), UCLA Hammer Museum (2004), and Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (1999). Donovan’s first European exhibition was presented in 2013 at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark, and traveled to the Arp Museum Bahnhof, Rolandseck, Remagen, Germany. In September of 2018, her work will be presented in the solo exhibition Tara Donovan: Fieldwork at Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver. Pace has represented Donovan since 2005.
300 ElCamino Real, Menlo Park, California
May 22 – June 30, 2014
Menlo Park—Pace Gallery is proud to present the final exhibition at its California pop-up: Tara Donovan: Untitled on view from May 22 to June 30, 2014. The exhibition surveys work by Tara Donovan from 2000 to present and features large-scale installations recently included in museum exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad. In addition to Untitled, Pace Menlo Park, located in the former Tesla Headquarters, exhibits a wide variety of work by contemporary masters. A screening room featuring artists' films and a 1,000 volume art library is also available for use by visitors to the gallery.
For the last 20 years, Donovan has used simple, mass-produced materials and objects to explore the transformative effect of their accumulation and aggregation. The result has been a body of work that creates through perceptual phenomenon otherworldly environments, invented topographies and seemingly organic structures from inorganic materials.
Donovan has previously said about her work, “Certainly the scale of my work is always in relation to the human body. I also think about the experience of my work as being theatrical in a sense. The placement of the work in a space, how it is lit, and the amount of surrounding space are all very calculated. There is a sense I get of wanting to choreograph someone’s experience of my work. Because the surfaces of my work do often shift and follow the perspective of the viewer, there is a perceptual movement that coincides with a person’s physical movement within the gallery space.”
Untitled shows the range of Donovan’s single-material structures built from the repetitive application of mylar, acrylic, film, glass, buttons, toothpicks, pins, pencils and drinking straws. Donovan draws on Minimalism in her work creating radically new forms which embrace complexity and process. The earliest sculptures in this exhibition are Donovan’s 36 inch cubes, in which no adhesive is used to transform millions of pins, toothpicks and glass into new and unexpected geometric forms. Bluffs, (2013) is comprised of thousands of stacked buttons, which accumulate into a opalescent, pink stalagmite structure. In another series on view, clear plastic rods radiate from the center of spherical biomorphic forms that could be imagined to exist on a coral reef.
Donovan plays with perceptual phenomenon through light and scale, evoking the work of both James Turrell and Robert Irwin. On view are three “Pin Drawings,” that create an optical effect of shifting viewpoints through polished nickel-plated steel pins, protruding out from the visual plane at varying lengths. Untitled also includes a selection of Donovan’s seminal large-scale installations, environments that could seemingly extend into infinity. Covering an entire side of wall at Pace Menlo Park is Haze, (2003), comprised of several million translucent plastic drinking straws. Donovan’s towering Untitled (Mylar), (2011), is also on view, comprised of sheets of Mylar, molded into three-dimensional form to create sprawling cellular structures. Light plays a pivotal role in the work as it catches the metallic surfaces and radiates off its undulating form.
Concurrent with Pace Menlo Park’s Untitled is an exhibition featuring two new large-scale sculptures, currently on view at Pace Gallery, 534 West 25th Street in New York through June 28.
Tara Donovan (b. 1969, Flushing, New York) received a B.F.A. from the Corcoran College of Art and Design, Washington, D.C. (1991) and an M.F.A. in sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond (1999). Donovan received the prestigious MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award in 2008. Other awards include the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Willard L. Metcalf Award, New York; the National Academy Museum, Helen Foster Barnett Prize, New York; the Women’s Caucus for Art, Presidential Award, New York (all in 2004), and the first annual Calder Prize, which was granted by the Calder Foundation in 2005. She was an Augustus Saint-Gaudens Memorial Sculpture Fellow, Cornish, New Hampshire (2003) and received grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts (2003); the Pollock-Krasner Foundation (2003); and the Joan Mitchell Foundation (1999). Donovan’s work was also selected for the 2000 Biennial Exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Donovan has been the subject of solo exhibitions and installations at numerous museums. Among them: Tara Donovan, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark and Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck, Remagen, Germany (2013-2014); Currents 35: Tara Donovan, Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin (2012); Tara Donovan: Untitled, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana, (2010); Tara Donovan, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, (2008–2009) which traveled to: Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, Cincinnati; Des Moines Art Center, Iowa; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Tara Donovan at the Met, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York was on view from 2008-2009. Concurrent with the ICA, Boston survey, the artist’s first monograph, with an interview by Lawrence Weschler, was published by the Monacelli Press. Tara Donovan’s work is held in numerous important private and public collections, including Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Brooklyn Museum of Art; Dallas Museum of Art; Indianapolis Museum of Art; The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Milwaukee Art Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; St. Louis Art Museum; Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others. Tara Donovan lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
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