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Tara Donovan: Vertical Poetry
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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.

Tara Donovan. “Composition (Cards)” 2017

Tara Donovan. Detail of “Composition (Cards)” 2017

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.

Installation view of Tara Donovan, at Pace Gallery, 527 West 24th Street

Tara Donovan. “Composition (Cards)” 2017

Tara Donovan. “Composition (Cards)” 2017

Tara Donovan. Detail of “Composition (Cards)” 2017

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.

Tara Donovan. “Composition (Cards)” 2017

Tara Donovan. “Composition (Cards)” 2017

Tara Donovan. Detail of “Composition (Cards)” 2017

There are two basic sizes: 39 ¾ square, and 22 ¼ square – each 4” deep, each one containing THOUSANDS of pages.

Installation view of Tara Donovan, at Pace Gallery, 527 West 24th Street

Installation view of Tara Donovan, at Pace Gallery, 527 West 24th Street

Tara Donovan. Detail of “Composition (Cards)” 2017. Photographed by David Behringer.

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:

What: New Wall Sculptures by Tara Donovan
Where: Pace Gallery, 537 W 24th St, New York NY
When: February 17 – March 18, 2017

Unless otherwise noted, all images are photographed by Kerry Ryan McFate, © Tara Donovan, courtesy of Pace Gallery.

David Behringer visits over 200 galleries every month to uncover and share the most exciting contemporary art in New York today. Subscribe to his exclusive weekly newsletter at www.thetwopercent.com and learn about his private gallery tours. And be sure to check out his YouTube.