As one of the most innovative sculptors working today, Tara Donovan dramatically transforms everyday materials—such as pencils, Elmer’s glue and electrical cable—into sublime abstract environments.
Known for her commitment to process, Donovan employs a labor-intensive method of accumulation to explore the perceptual and atmospheric effects that result from a vast multiplication of individual units. Carefully attuned to the innate sculptural properties of these typically non-art materials, Donovan draws on their specific characteristics in often surprising ways. The resulting configurations evoke a sense of expansive growth, as well as natural phenomena such as ripples, clouds, haze and undulating landscapes, transcending the mundane qualities of the materials of which they are composed.
Donovan’s drawings engage in an important dialogue with the processes explored in her installations. She uses materials such as rubber bands, bubbles and shattered glass to create abstract drawings that suggest traces of these three-dimensional elements. Both her sculptural installations and drawings provoke viewers to think about materiality in new ways.
Tara Donovan, Untitled (Mylar), 2010. Commissioned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Frank Curtis Springer & Irving Moxley Springer Purchase Fund, Anonymous IV Art Fund, Deaccessioned Contemporary Art Fund. 2010.218A-D © Courtesy The Pace Gallery.
Video from the Indianapolis Museum of Art