Tara Donovan's process-driven work explores how materials behave, as she re-imagines the potential of everyday things. Her sculptures and large-scale installations build on the transparency and malleability of her chosen materials, translating objects such as plastic straws, Styrofoam cups, straight pins, rubber bands, and index cards into transcendent forms and environments. Her work is typically untitled, but even in its open interpretation suggests an elegant biomimicry of organic forms and infinitely repeating systems.
In her first residency at Tamarind Institute, Donovan continued her exploration of printmaking, defying traditional techniques to create matrixes of astonishing simplicity and beauty. Tamarind Master Printer Valpuri Remling and Apprentice Printer Candice Corgan worked with Donovan to create a matrix constructed entirely of 3 x 5 index cards. She assembled the cards in a wooden structure, and then the overall construction was photographed from above. The photographic image was exposed to an aluminum plate, with the contrast adjusted to allow for the intricacies of the paper-thin edges to read as positive space. The simplicity of the one-color print is very much in keeping with Donovan's larger body of work, in which the transformative properties of ordinary materials are realized through repetition and elegant formal sequencing.
Donovan is the recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Genius Award (2008), the first Calder Prize (2005), and exhibits her work internationally. She is represented by Pace Gallery.