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.
London—Pace is delighted to present Tara Donovan: Compositions, an exhibition featuring the artist’s most recent series of works. The exhibition will be Donovan’s first at Pace London and follows her exhibition at Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh, in 2015. Tara Donovan: Compositions will be on view from 24 January to 9 March 2018 at 6 Burlington Gardens, London.
Known for her commitment to process, Donovan has earned acclaim for her ability to discover the inherent physical characteristics of an object and transform it into art.Extending upon the artist’s core interest in investigating aggregative procedures using a singular material, the recent 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.
“The process of making comes after I’ve figured out what I want the material to do, and what it is that the material is revealing in a phenomenological or perceptual way.” Tara Donovan, 2015.*
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’s 25th Street gallery in New York 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 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. 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, revealing 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.
Tara Donovan: Compositions will be accompanied by a comprehensive illustrated catalogue featuring an essay by author, associate professor of Art History and Fine Arts at the University of Southern California Suzanne Hudson.
Tara Donovan will be the subject of a solo-exhibition at Fieldwork, Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver (21 September 2018 - 27 January 2019) and included in the group exhibition Hyperobjects, Ballroom Marfa, TX, (13 April - October 2018).
 Tara Donovan. “Studio Visit: Tara Donovan.” Interview with Aileen Kwun. Surface, June/July 2015: 22–24, illustrated.
2018. Pace Gallery. Hardcover
174 pages: color illustrations; 10 ½ x 9 ½ inches