“Platform: Tara Donovan”

"Platform: Tara Donovan" opens on July 4 and remains on view through October 18.

“Tara Donovan’s approach to material is like no other artist’s,” says Andrea Grover, the Century Arts Foundation Curator of Special Projects at the Parrish Art Museum, who organized the exhibition. “ Her vision and sense of play allows her to transform the most mundane objects into breathtaking installations.”

For Platform: Tara Donovan, the artist transforms hundreds of Slinkys® into three new works that will be integrated into architectural spaces and permanent collection galleries throughout the Museum. The works, all Untitled, 2015, assume a generative, organic quality—as if cultivated rather than built. The first work, a free-standing sculpture, will be installed in the Permanent Collection gallery’s “Material World” exhibition, which explores the use of found and common materials in art. Donovan determined the sculpture’s size (approximately 7 x 7 x 7 feet) and form in response to the space, which features work by artists Donald Lipski, Louise Nevelson, and Alfonso Ossorio, among others.

The second work is a wall piece composed of Slinkys ® that have been taken apart and then reassembled into a two-dimensional “drawing” of intricate, curvilinear patterns. Approximately 30 feet wide and installed contiguously from the east to the south wall of the Parrish’s Norman and Liliane Peck/The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation Lobby, the work seems to crawl from one plane to the next.

The third work is a mono print, part of a new series the artist created in tandem with her ongoing investigation of the Slinky® as a sculptural material. With a rich, black background and the tonal qualities of a photographic process or an X-ray of a prehistoric skeletal system, it provides a densely visual contrast to the open and airy filigree effect of Donovan’s sculpture.

Donovan creates compelling sculptures and wall works that appear to be self-replicating, living structures made from accumulations of everyday, mass-produced items such as drinking straws, pins, toothpicks, buttons, pencils, and index cards. Through experimentation and repetitive labor, Donovan pushes the boundaries of what the material can be made to do.

The Parrish Art Museum is located at 279 Montauk Highway Water Mill, NY 11976. www.parrishart.org.

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