Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tara Donovan @ Cornell University.

New Drawings

April 10, 2009—May 2, 2009

PaceWildenstein is pleased to present its third solo exhibition of new work by Tara Donovan, who joined the gallery in 2005. Tara Donovan: New Drawings features two series of large-scale ink on paper drawings created in 2008-2009. The exhibition will be on view from April 10 through May 2, 2009 at 32 East 57th Street, New York City.

The artist will attend an opening reception on Thursday, April 9th from 6-8 p.m.Tara Donovan, who was recently awarded the 2008 MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award, is also the subject of a traveling survey exhibition currently on view at the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati through May 11, 2009. The exhibition, organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, subsequently travels to the Des Moines Art Center, Iowa (June 19–September 14, 2009) and Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, California (October 10, 2009–January 16, 2010). The Monacelli Press published the artist’s first monograph in September 2008 to accompany the traveling exhibition.

Tara Donovan has stated that in her work the material itself dictates the final form of the objects or installations even though certain decisions are made about the way a particular material should be accumulated. But even then, she says, these decisions are based on experimentation with the physical properties of the material being used. She activates the inherent potential of a singular material by assigning predetermined rules for construction that allow the work to grow through repetitive labor. Tara Donovan: New Drawings includes twenty-nine unique black and white drawings created from tempered glass, plate glass, and thread, and each measuring approximately 51 x 42". Donovan has employed both types of glass in previous work, most notably in her Untitled (Glass) cube sculptures which require hundreds of sheets of tempered glass.

This variety, as she discovered during experimentation, is prone to shattering into thousands of crystalline pieces whereas the plate glass she used to create Untitled (Broken Glass), 2006, is more susceptible to clean-line fractures. Donovan uses axiomatic systems to determine the genesis of a work, outlining conditions or rules to provide a “constant” so that the material—in this case two variations of the same medium—is allowed to dominate the form or composition. Using thread Tara Donovan exposes its innumerable compositional possibilities while preserving the integrity of the material itself. The thread cuts a delicate and dizzying line across the paper, in sharp contrast to the kinetic, almost violent energy captured in the glass drawings. Four works from this series will be on view.

The Lever House at 390 Park Avenue at 54th Street in New York City will feature Donovan’s Untitled (2009), an installation of loosely folded sheets of clear polyester film set within a wall that engages natural and artificial light and the surrounding architecture, from May to September 2009. Tara Donovan’s work is also included in two group exhibitions: Unfolding Process: Conceptual and Material Practice on Paper, currently on view at The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, through June 14, 2009, and Because I Say So: Sculpture from the Collection of Dennis and Debra Scholl, opening next month at The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, Florida International University, Miami (April 17–August 15, 2009.) Tara Donovan was born in 1969 in Queens, New York, and grew up further north in Nyack. She attended the School of Visual Arts, New York, from 1987-88 before earning her B.F.A. from the Corcoran College of Art and Design, Washington, D.C. in 1991.

Donovan received her M.F.A. in sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond in 1999. Since then, she has been the subject of numerous gallery and museum exhibitions nationwide, including solo shows at the Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri (2006), Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2004-05), UCLA Hammer Museum (2004), Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland (2003-2004) and Hemicycle Gallery, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (1999-2000). Donovan also took part in the 2000 Biennial Exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.In the fall of 2007, The Metropolitan Museum of Art presented Tara Donovan at the Met, which featured a new large-scale wall installation created from silver Mylar tape and designed specifically for the museum’s Gioconda and Joseph King Gallery. Donovan’s installation, the fourth in the Met’s series of solo exhibitions dedicated to contemporary artists, was extended by popular demand and remained on view for nearly one year.

In 2005, Donovan was awarded the first annual Calder Prize by the Alexander Calder Foundation. That same year she participated in an artist’s residency at the Atelier Calder in Saché, France. Among her other awards and distinctions are the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Willard L. Metcalf Award (2004), National Academy Museum, Helen Foster Barnett Prize (2004), Women’s Caucus for Art, Presidential Award (2004), New York Foundation for the Arts grant recipient (2003), Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant recipient (2003), Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Competition (2001) and Joan Mitchell Foundation grant recipient (1999). Her work is part of numerous museum collections throughout the United States, including the Dallas Museum of Art, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, St. Louis Art Museum, and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.Tara Donovan lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Additional information for Tara Donovan: New Drawings is available upon request by contacting Jennifer Benz Joy at or Lauren Staub at or call 212.421.3292.

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