October 11, 2015


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Lot 236: Tara Donovan

Lot 236: Tara Donovan

Untitled (Paper Plates)

c. 2005
Paper plates, hot glue
Overall: 10" x 23" x 15"
Literature: Tara Donovan. M. Franke. 2013. #5 for similar example.
Estimate: $15,000 - $20,000
Price Realized: $21,250
Inventory Id: 20235

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Tara Donovan (b. 1969) creates wondrous visual experiences, in large-scale installation and sculpture, from everyday objects. By stacking, piling, and densely arranging together hundreds of pieces of mundane materials like paper plates, plastic cups, or plastic straws, she renders surprisingly strange and beautiful results. They resemble great natural phenomena, such as nebulous clouds, or brittle landscapes, far beyond the scope of what one would expect from common household items.

Curator Nicholas Baume describes Donovan as a young, contemporary minimalist, in the same vein as her predecessors Sol LeWitt, Carl Andre, or Eva Hesse. He says of her work, "It's about creating a system, using a structure, and repeating incremental units that can go from the finite to the seemingly infinite …it brings it into our own period by suggesting digital, cellular, emergent networks. It seems to speak to the systems that are shaping our lives. "The shapes in Untitled (Paper Plates) (c. 2005) suggest natural systems, resembling sponges, or some other underwater element found in the sea. At the same time, they look to have a technological component, with a honeycomb pattern found in digital architecture drawings, aeronautic honeycomb filling, or the façade of the new Broad Museum in Los Angeles. The natural and the technological meet in Donovan's prints as well. In Untitled (Bubble Drawing) (2003) she uses a straw to blow bubbles from a mixture of liquid soap and ink, delicately transferring the bubbles onto the surface of the foamcore board. Over a short period of time, the bubbles pop or dissipate, creating physical traces of something normally ephemeral.

Tara Donovan received the MacArthur Foundation "Genius" award in 2008, and the first annual Calder Prize in 2005. Over the last decade she has exhibited widely. She was a Hammer Projects artist in 2004 at the UCLA Hammer Museum, and has had solo exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. ; and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. During the summer of 2015 she had four one-person shows: one in Edinburgh, one at Pace Gallery in New York, and one at Pace Prints, also in New York. Platform: Tara Donovan, at the Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York was on view July 4, 2015 through October 12, 2015.

Kino, Carol. "The Genius of Little Things. " The New York Times. Art sec. The New York Times Company, 2011. Web. 17 Aug 2015. Pace Prints. "Tara Donovan. " Greg Kucera. Greg Kucera Gallery, Inc., n.d. Web. 17 Aug 2015.