Tara Donovan’s newest wall sculptures at Pace Gallery are composed of THOUSANDS of white styrene cards that are individually stacked, glued, and rotated 90 degrees. It’s simple. It’s also the most breathtaking thing I’ve seen on a wall all year.
Each of the 30 works in the gallery feels absolutely impossible – the mathematics, the labor, and the result. A closer look reveals the inhuman complexity and precision of overlap. These are not short pieces sandwiched between “full length” strips. The white areas are overlaps – like a deck of cards mid shuffle. ONE of these is unbelievable – but hitting 30 works in a row, each with entirely unique patterns and rules of construction, is mind-blowing.
This exhibition follows her 2014 show at Pace Gallery, in which she created towering stalagmites using the same material. Both the material and the “stacking” remains in these new works, but with 2 turns (viewing cards only from their “edge”, and rotating the finished work 90 degrees vertical), Donovan has created something entirely new.
There are two basic sizes: 39 ¾ square, and 22 ¼ square – each 4” deep, each one containing THOUSANDS of pages.
Tara Donovan is one of those artists that continues to surprise with every work, while always outdoing her previous series. She is completely worth hearing: I recommend this short video produced by The Louisiana Channel:
Unless otherwise noted, all images are photographed by Kerry Ryan McFate, © Tara Donovan, courtesy of Pace Gallery.