Tara Donovan


On View
May 3 – Aug 16, 2024
New York
Exhibition Details

Tara Donovan
May 3 – Aug 16, 2024


540 West 25th Street
New York


Press Release


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Above: Tara Donovan, Stratagem X, 2024 © Tara Donovan
Pace is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Tara Donovan at its 540 West 25th Street gallery in New York.

On view from May 3 to August 16, the show, titled Stratagems, will spotlight a group of sculptures made entirely of found, scavenged, and upcycled CD-ROM discs. Coinciding with Frieze New York, the artist’s presentation at the gallery will be complemented by a Pace Live performance from choreographer Kim Brandt.

Known for her process- and system-based work across sculpture, installation, drawing, and printmaking, Donovan often explores the talismanic qualities of everyday materials and objects, from buttons, Styrofoam cups, pencils, and pins to readymade screens and Slinky toys. Drawing on the formal language of Minimalism and Postminimalism, Donovan’s works both use and mis-use such nontraditional materials, transforming them into visually dazzling compositions without obliterating their fundamental essences or histories as objects from everyday life. Through acts of accumulation, aggregation, and iteration, she transmutes her materials into shapeshifting works of art, which explore the possibilities—and limits—of human perception.

Marking her eleventh solo show with Pace, Stratagems will be the first exhibition dedicated to Donovan’s three- dimensional sculptures mounted in New York since 2021. Comprising 11 new sculptures, the show will be presented on the gallery’s seventh floor, which features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Chelsea skyline. Built atop concrete pedestals, each of Donovan’s vertically-oriented sculptures is composed of stacks of CDs, varying in height from seven to ten feet tall. Breathing new life into the banal and outmoded medium of the compact disc, these works will be activated by the natural light that floods the gallery space. Depending on the time of day and the viewer’s perspective, a range of optical effects unfold across the refractive surfaces of the works. Mutable and seemingly alive, Donovan’s latest sculptures respond directly to the presence of the viewer’s body as it traverses space, reflecting her deep interest in the relationship between perceptual nuances and material transfigurations. At the same time, these works invite the viewer to contemplate the transformation of an obsolete medium—once used for the storage and transmission of digital information—into a prism for embodied experience.

During Frieze week in New York, choreographer Kim Brandt will stage a performance with six dancers amid Donovan’s exhibition at Pace. Presented by Pace Live—the gallery’s interdisciplinary platform for live art performances, musical acts, conversations, and other events—Brandt’s performance will share certain affinities with Donovan’s work and riff on the sculptures in the show, developing through an accumulation of scores that invites dancers to explore spiraling as generative movement. Brandt, who has previously presented her work at MoMA PS1 and SculptureCenter in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and many other institutions, has developed a practice that investigates the body as a dynamic material constantly negotiating context-specific relationships to time and space. Further details about her performance at the gallery will be announced in due course.

Stratagems will open during the final days of When Forms Come Alive, a group show at the Hayward Gallery in London featuring Donovan’s work, on view through May 6.


Featured Works

Tara Donovan, Stratagem II, 2024, CDs, 107" × 15-1/2" × 15-1/2" (271.8 cm × 39.4 cm × 39.4 cm)
Tara Donovan, Stratagem X, 2024, CDs, 104-1/2" × 17" × 17" (265.4 cm × 43.2 cm × 43.2 cm)
Tara Donovan, Stratagem XIV, 2024, CDs, 92-1/4" × 25" × 25" (234.3 cm × 63.5 cm × 63.5 cm)
Tara Donovan, Stratagem XV, 2024, CDs, 83-1/4" × 25" × 25" (211.5 cm × 63.5 cm × 63.5 cm)
Tara Donovan, Stratagem XII, 2024, CDs, 81" × 24" × 24" (205.7 cm × 61 cm × 61 cm)
Tara Donovan Portrait 2018.jpg

About the Artist

For over twenty years, Tara Donovan has created large-scale installations, sculptures and drawings that utilize everyday objects to explore the transformative effects of accumulation and aggregation. Known for her commitment to process, she has earned acclaim for her ability to exploit the inherent physical characteristics of an object in order to transform it into works that generate unique perceptual phenomena and atmospheric effects.

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