Organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, this is the first major museum survey of Tara Donovan’s work. The artist’s sculptural installations are based on the physical properties and capabilities of a single accumulated material. Donovan uses prosaic items including electrical cable, adding machine paper, straight pins, paper plates, and toothpicks. These materials are arranged in a manner that sometimes mimics the organization of geological or biological forms.
Through this subtle and remarkably affecting presentation, drinking straws may suggest clouds and plastic cups may call to mind a brittle winter landscape. Part of the intrigue of Donovan’s practice lies in the way she is able to present a mass of unaltered, simple objects that do not disguise what they are while simultaneously suggesting a range of richly poetic associations.
Tara Donovan is organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston. The exhibition and accompanying publication were generously supported by Chuck and Kate Brizius and Barbara Lee.
The San Diego presentation is made possible by a generous gift from an anonymous donor. Additional support is provided by Valerie and Harry Cooper. Related programs are supported by grants from The James Irvine Foundation Arts Innovation Fund, the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Fund, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Institutional support for MCASD is provided, in part, by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.