Tara Donovan has an affinity for materials that other artists might not give a second glance. In her work, she transforms the stuff of everyday life, such as drinking straws, toothpicks, index cards, disposable cups and the like, into formations that appear like immense representations of geological or cellular growth. Visually compelling as solid fields, it is only upon closer examination that the component parts that make up these objects are revealed to be of the simplest and most common of ingredients.
Context and spatial interactions are the hallmark of much of Donovan’s creative output. Her massive constructions fill rooms, undulate over gallery walls, and generally inhabit spaces with an almost animate presence. In this fourth installation of the Parrish Platform series, Donovan has created works that physically claim territory throughout the Museum— from the lobby to the permanent collection galleries— creating visual surprises.
Her material of choice for this project is the Slinky® the ubiquitous children’s toy made from coiled steel or plastic, and recognized as the worm-like spring that “walks” down stairs and flows from palm-to-palm with undulating, life-like movement. In Donovan’s hands, Slinkys® become new forms—free standing sculpture, a wall relief, and a monoprint—that deftly interact with the Museum’s architecture and visitors. Platform is an initiative that invites artists to respond to the architecture, context, and environmental conditions of the Museum. Unlike a traditional exhibition confined to a specific gallery, Platform participants have an open “playing field” in which to reconnoiter, and permission to identify non-traditional areas within the Museum as potential zones for their creative production. Platform encourages artists to consider the entire Museum, conceptually and physically, inspiring new ways to experience art, architecture, and the landscape. Platform: Tara Donovan is organized by Century Arts Foundation Curator of Special Projects Andrea Grover Platform: Tara Donovan is made possible, in part, by the generous support of ; Pace Gallery, New York; Amanda and Glenn Fuhrman; Linda Hackett/ CAL Foundation; Marcia and Jonathan Sobel; Sandy and Stephen Perlbinder; Lisa and Steven Tananbaum Family Foundation; and The Barbara Lee Family Foundation. Additional support was provided by the Friends of Linda Fischbach in her honor.