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 Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (1999); UCLA Hammer Museum (2004); The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2007); Milwaukee Art Museum (2012); Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York (2015); and Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver (2018). 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.
Pace Gallery is pleased to present Tara Donovan, an exhibition featuring the artist’s newest series, Compositions (Cards). Extending upon the artist’s core interest in investigating aggregative procedures using a singular material, the new series is comprised of wall-mounted framed works in various sizes that explore stratification as both a sculptural technique and a means to construct a two-dimensional picture plane. Tara Donovan will be on view from February 17 through March 18, 2017 at 537 West 24th Street. An opening reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, February 16 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Departing from the monumental forms Donovan produced of layered and heaped styrene cards suggesting stalagmites or wind-eroded outcroppings—which comprised part of her solo exhibition at Pace 25th Street in 2014—the new series inverts the sculptural logic of voluminous horizontal stacking by the use of the frame as a means to control the density and orientation of the styrene cards. Each Composition (Cards) develops through an improvisational process of incremental stacking that slowly evolves into a unique set of strategic rules that guides the completion of the work into an abstract graphic composition. The convergence of the styrene cards becomes a dynamic two-dimensional surface pattern of parallel lines produced by the edges of each card standing perpendicular to the wall. Combining the linearity of drawing with the materiality of painting, the surface gains sculptural volume when a viewer moves around the work, which reveals the depth inherent to the negative spaces between each of the cards. The cumulative effect of these perceptual qualities recalls lenticular printing techniques that rely on offsetting layers to create the illusion of motion on a static surface.
Presented in dense groupings of individual works, the exhibition also subverts canonical notions of Minimalist seriality by playing with the anonymous, mechanical format of repeated objects. While seemingly a display of inert monochrome works from afar, the curious viewer is rewarded with highly responsive, undulating fields of material upon closer inspection.
For the last 20 years, Tara Donovan (b. 1969, Flushing, NY) has used simple, mass produced materials and objects to explore the transformative effects of accumulation and aggregation. Committed to process, she has earned acclaim for her ability to discover the inherent physical characteristics of an object and transform it into art. Donovan has explored the effects of accumulation with these materials, at times utilizing hundreds of thousands of units such as straws, pins, or cups to generate perceptual phenomena and subtle atmospheric effects. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the inaugural Calder Prize in 2005 and a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award in 2008.
Donovan has been the subject of numerous one-artist exhibitions at institutions worldwide including the Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles (2004); Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2004); University of California Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (2006); Saint Louis Art Museum (2006); The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2007); Indianapolis Museum of Art (2010); Milwaukee Art Museum (2012); and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark (2014). Her more recent museum solo exhibitions include the Parrish Museum, Watermill, NY (2015) and Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh, Scotland (2015).
Tara Donovan lives in Brooklyn, NY, and works in Long Island City, NY. Pace has represented Donovan since 2005. This is the artist’s tenth exhibition at Pace.
On the occasion of Tara Donovan's recent solo exhibition with Pace, she was interviewed by Allie Biswas, a contributor to Studio International. In the interview, Tara discusses the development of her recent series, Compositions (Cards), which, while they might appear as a departure from her work in large-scale installation, are rooted in the same aesthetic potential of aggregated materials and their activation of perceptual capacities. Read the full interview here.
On the occasion of her bi-coastal exhibtions at Pace Gallery in Palo Alto and in New York, Tara Donovan was interviewed by Kristen Tauer at Women's Wear Daily. Tara discusses her new works as an evolution of her artistic process, which explores familiar materials transformed through massive quantities. To read the full article, click here.
Tara Donovan was recently interviewed by Pimploy Phongsirivech for Interview Magazine, in which she discusses her recent series, Compositions (Cards), on the occasion of her solo exhibition at 537 West 24th Street, which ran from Feb 17 – Mar 18, 2017. Check out the whole interview here.