Sunday, January 13, 2008

Tara Donovan at the Met

Untitled (Mylar), 2007
Tara Donovan at the Met
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through April 27, 2008

Tucked into the soft light of the northwest cornor of the Met, at the top of the first flight of stairs connecting the Modern Wings, are ten thousand one inch two inch three inch diameter rings reflecting upon thier interiors. Veiwed from a distance, their irregular repetition froths and condenses between the two uncrossable boundries of ceiling and floor. The installation's stark and subtle game unfolds quietly, gently caressing the perception, calling it to come closer and discover the secret of its construction. Rings of mylar disguise themselves at first as a material that calls back to modernism, appearing to be welded pieces of thin metal, polished on one side and shaped into small circular rings. Closer inspection reveals the truth to be must more delicate, and contemporary. Thousands of peices of mylar tape surround the viewer, rolled into this simple shape and stuck together simply, as the material was designed to do. The adhesive underbelly of the tape surrounds its polished face, catching dust and debris from the air and the floor. The shining face of the mylar tape reflects inward, in thousands upon thousands of repititons, scattering glancing particle-waves(1) from the room across their individual interior spaces. Somehow, magically, these pieces of commercial material become organic, combinging and expanding in a pattern built by the selction of chance.

Wholey indicative of Donovan's work, Untitled (Mylar) expands upon the artist's vocabulary of ordinary, commercial materials installed in a singular chosen architectural area: a luminous ceiling of styrophoam cups(2), a pulsing wall of stacked plastic straws (3), fuzzy translucent pods of fishin wire (4), cubes of sewing pins held retaining their shape by the forces of gravity and friction(5). The pieces are singular meditations on the materials that inhabit our contemporary lives, revealing their man-made nature to be surprisingly capable of organic grace.

(1) Light.
(2) Untitled, 2003 Styrofoam Cups, Hot Glue6'(H) x 20'(W) x 19' 2"(D)
(3) Haze, 2003 Stacked Clear Plastic Drinking Straws12' 7"(H) x 42' 2"(W) 7 3/4"(D)
(4) Lure, 2004 Fishing Line2 1/2"(H) x 10'6"(W) x 26'(D)
(5) Untitled, 2001 Nickel-Plated Steel Pins Held Together by Friction & Gravity Only35"(H) x 35"(W) x 35"(D)

Tara Donovan at ACE Gallery

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