QWERTY #80 by Tara Donovan

Tara Donovan, QWERTY, 2022 © Tara Donovan

Art Blocks x Pace Verso

Tara Donovan


NFT Details

Tara Donovan
Release date: Oct 10, 2022

How to Purchase

For assistance in purchasing NFTs, please contact us at verso@pacegallery.com.

Giveaway Terms

Download Giveaway Terms & Conditions


Press Release


(opens in a new window) @pacegallery
(opens in a new window) @artblocks_io

Pace Verso, the web3 hub of Pace Gallery, and Art Blocks, the leading platform for generative art, are pleased to present artist Tara Donovan’s first-ever NFT project, titled QWERTY.

The project will launch on October 10, 2022 at 12 PM EDT and be available for purchase on (opens in a new window) artblocks.io.

Donovan, whose practice spans sculpture, installation, drawing, and printmaking, often explores the talismanic qualities of everyday materials and objects. The artist’s new QWERTY project, which comprises 500 unique, generative NFTs, is deeply engaged with her screen drawings—for those two-dimensional works, Donovan moves, pinches, and cuts the wires of woven aluminum insect screen to extract patterns from existing grids, using a mathematical methodology to draw out the phenomenological potential of the material.

The artist’s QWERTY NFTs meditate on the ways that type can function as a building block for creating pattern. Each NFT in this series depicts rhythmic, mesmeric arrangements of a single, repeating letter or symbol represented on computer keyboards. The 26 letters and 30 symbols that make up the layered, gridded compositions of the QWERTY NFTs are rendered in varying degrees of legibility, striking a balance between recognizability and obscurity. These screen-based images take on the qualities of woven textiles, and they are the result of the artist’s meticulous pattern development, organization, and refinement, which she executed through algorithmic processes.

Donovan’s QWERTY NFT project can be understood as an extension of the eponymous book she published in 2018, which features patterns the artist forged using characters from a 1930s typewriter. Both the digital and physical iterations of QWERTY reflect Donovan’s interest in surface depth and perspectival mutability. Her QWERTY NFTs shapeshift and transform depending on a viewer’s position relative to their screen, bringing ghostly shapes and figurative elements into relief in the compositions’ interstitial spaces. The wide range of patterns in the QWERTY NFTs includes subtle, minimalist grids; architectural forms; psychedelic motifs; and optical illusions.

Character type, quantity, and scale; amplitude; and wave pattern are among the variable traits in the QWERTY NFTs. To experiment with these visual possibilities, Donovan used a rendering application that enabled her to adjust NFT features while seeing their effects in real time.

The first 56 individuals to mint QWERTY NFTs will each receive an archival pigment print of their NFT from the artist and Pace Verso. These works will be signed and numbered by Donovan. Complete terms and conditions will be available on Pace’s website before the project’s release on October 10, 2022.

The artist will participate in an AMA discussion with Art Blocks artist Andrew Badr on Pace Verso’s Discord server on October 7, 2022 at 10 a.m. EDT. To mark the project’s launch, she will engage in an AMA discussion on Art Blocks’ Twitter on October 10, 2022 at 11:40 a.m. EDT. QWERTY NFTs will make their physical debut in Pace’s presentation at Frieze London 2022, which is open to the public from October 12 to 16, 2022. Donovan will donate a portion of the proceeds from QWERTY NFT sales to Planned Parenthood.

QWERTY is realized by Art Blocks and Pace Verso in conjunction with Digital Practice, an artist-focused web3 creative agency that worked in close concert with Donovan on project conceptualization, art direction, and development. More information about the project can be found at (opens in a new window) artblocks.io.

Tara Donovan on QWERTY

Watch artist Tara Donovan detail the variable traits found in her first-ever NFT project as well as the parallels between these generative works and her overall practice.

Tara Donovan Portrait 2018.jpg

About the Artist

Tara Donovan’s large-scale installations, sculptures, drawings, and prints utilize everyday objects to explore the transformative effects of accumulation and aggregation. By identifying and exploiting the usually overlooked physical properties of modest, mass-produced goods, Donovan creates ethereal works that challenge our perceptual habits and preconceptions.

Learn More

  • Pace Verso — Tara Donovan: QWERTY, Sep 27, 2022