MILWAUKEE, WIS.- The Milwaukee Art Museum
opens the latest installation in its Currents series with the sculptural works of contemporary artist Tara Donovan. The exhibition runs through October 7, 2012.
Recognized for her commitment to process, Donovan utilizes the inherent physical characteristics of common and manufactured materialsstraws, pins, Styrofoam cupsand the multiplication and interaction of the individual units, to create organic installations with powerful perceptual and atmospheric effects. In 2010, the Museum acquired Donovans Bluffs, which is comprised of thousands of buttons, stacked and glued in such a way as to evoke glistening stalagmites or a coral reef.
Donovans process involves selecting one material and finding one unique solution for its construction, whether its folding, gluing, stacking, or pressing, said Brady Roberts, chief curator for the Milwaukee Art Museum. This systemone material, one process, one solutionhas its roots in the art of the 1960s. Donovan is an admirer of artists Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, and Chuck Close, each of whom developed rigorous systems and rule-based art.
Currents 35: Tara Donovan features two of the artists major installation works: Haze, which covers a 32-foot wall with approximately three million straws, and Untitled (Mylar), which, activated by various sources of light, will face the lake.
The exhibition also includes four works made with thousands of nickel-plated steel pinsthat are part drawing, part assemblage, part sculpture and a large installation resembling crystals, made with clear plastic rods, broken into different lengths. As in all of her work, the source material is transformed and not immediately recognizable.
Currents is an ongoing series of exhibitions at the Museum that explores new trends in contemporary art, and Donovan is a rising star in the contemporary art world, known for her spectacular transformations of everyday objects, said Roberts.
Tara Donovan has received numerous awards, including the prestigious McArthur genius award.