Krakow Witkin Gallery
Tara Donovan: Slinky®
Tara Donovan: Slinky®
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Tara Donovan’s editioned prints were created by making deep, inked impressions of a matrix that was created by cutting up and welding Slinky® elements together. Related works have been on view at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, NY and Jupiter Art Land in Edinburgh, Scotland. Tara Donovan (b. 1969, New York) creates large-scale installations and sculptures using everyday objects. Known for her deep involvement in process, she has earned acclaim for her ability to utilize physical characteristics of objects to create transcendent art experiences. Donovan has won the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award (2008) and the first annual Calder Prize (2005), among several others. She has had numerous solo exhibitions at museums such as at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2007 - 2008), UCLA Hammer Museum (2004), and Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (1999 - 2000). Many public collections have acquired her work including the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Currier Museum of Art, Manchester and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Image: Tara Donovan, "Untitled," 2015, Relief print from a Slinky® matrix on paper with deckled edges
The Slinky series is particularly ìmportant in Donovan's oeuvre because it's the first time she used the same material to realize three-dimensional, relief-based, and two-dimensional works. The material - that playful if potentially knotty toy beloved by children for decades - has its own internal logic; it moves and dances according to its own conditions set in motion by its user.
-Nora Burnett Abrams, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver
My early work was primarily sculpture. And then I started doing prints as a way of making drawings with sculpture—printmaking, for me, is very much outside of the norms of the traditional sense of printmaking. One of the first print projects I did was aimed to the edges of adding machine paper, and then printed in a hydraulic printing press and I remember first being invited to do those prints and thinking, 'No, I’m a sculptor, I don’t do that.' Then began discovering this new way of making drawings and that really opened up the process to include other mediums.
Tara Donovan (b. 1969, Flushing, New York) has produced a body of work that transforms banal, everyday objects into extraordinary sculptures. In dialogue with a modernist history of using nontraditional and industrial materials, Donovan employs a Minimalist vocabulary, in which repetition and spatial relationships are integral. Dematerialization and process are central to Donovan’s practice, which straddles Minimalism and Maximalism, wherein ephemera becomes aesthetic and the developed gestures of traditional sculpture are replaced by an expression of fragmentation, fragility, and plurality. The artist is attracted to the aesthetic possibilities of her materials before she knows how she might employ them, generally gravitating toward simple things—pencils, plastic cups, pins, buttons—precisely because of their simplicity and accessibility. Donovan’s visually captivating transformations of nontraditional synthetic materials extend from the practice of Post-minimalist sculptor Eva Hesse, and others. The notion of transcendence is an important aspect of Donovan’s oeuvre, observing the change in perception that occurs when a singular element is transformed into a larger object through the process of accumulation.