Tara Donovan is known for her dramatic yet delicate sculptures, drawings and installations created from vast quantities of mass-produced materials. In previous works she used everyday articles such as paper plates, styrofoam cups, drinking straws, toothpicks and tar paper. A recent work, Bluffs (2006) - a structure reminiscent of crystals or stalagmites - was made entirely from transparent plastic buttons. Held together by nothing more than gravity or hot glue and assembled with interminable patience, Donovan's sculptures mesmerise with ingenious simplicity.
For this exhibition, Donovan uses Mylar ¬- a metallic polyester film - to craft two distinct installations. The front gallery will be occupied by an organic, almost fungal population of interconnecting reflective spheres. Consisting of innumerable Mylar cones, the spheres spread over the gallery floor in varying sizes and heights, creating a gleaming, immersive environment. In the back space the artist will install a wall-based sculpture consisting of myriad loops of metallic tape which form a fragile silver web. Mirrored on the inside, the Mylar loops reflect and refract light, generating a dynamic illusion of three-dimensional bubbles.
Tara Donovan is interested in the phenomenological qualities of the materials she works with. Through resourceful and laborious experiments the artist determines the unexpected properties innate to each article. Subsequently, she assembles her sculptures in a way that mimics organic growth, constrained in size only by the restrictions of the space for which they are conceived. As a result, Donovan's industrially produced materials come to life and express genuine movement - responding to the legacy of Minimalism with a playful originality. Reinventing objects taken from our everyday visual landscape, Donovan reveals a notion of the sublime where one would least expect it.
Tara Donovan's recent solo exhibitions include Currents 98: Tara Donovan, Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri (2006); New Work, PaceWildenstein, New York, NY (2006); Survey, ACE Gallery, Los Angeles (2005); Tara Donovan, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, La Jolla, CA (2004); Hammer Projects: Tara Donovan, UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2004) and Curve Series: Tara Donovan, Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH (2003). Her recent group exhibitions include Nine Contemporary Sculptors: Fellows of the Saint-Gaudens Memorial, The UBS Gallery, New York, NY (2005); Invitational Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY (2004) and Whitney Biennial, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2000).