Tara Donovan has an obsession with materials and a super-human level of patience. The Brooklyn-based artist transforms “ordinary” objects by the thousands into impossible and awe-inspiring formations.
Two new works currently fill Pace Gallery in New York. The first, composed of MILLIONS of styrene index cards towers over 11 feet tall!! The cards are intermingled in two colors, a very light blue and very light green, and are thicker than standard 3×5 index cards. Each is meticulously angled, placed and glued by hand.
The second sculpture is astonishing (you can hear audible gasps echo through the gallery as new visitors round the blind corner). Towering at nearly 13 feet, this massive work first appears like a silvery fur: weightless, soft, and glowing at the edges.
In fact, the piece is composed of THOUSANDS of clear acrylic rods, ranging in thickness from about 1/8th to 3/8ths of an inch, all glued to an unseen core. It is a mass of contradiction: enticing, dangerous, heavy, and fragile.
The extreme effort (and duration) of labor seems impossible. But it’s that impossibility that allows these ordinary materials to escape their original purpose and exist as almost-living things that seem “grown” more than “assembled”.
Check them out in person and bring your iPhone, because Instagram filters are amazing on this one. But honestly, you won’t even need them.