The Parrish Art Museum lends itself as a canvas for sculptor Tara Donovan’s latest exhibition, which kicks off this weekend.
In the hands of sculptor Tara Donovan, Styrofoam cups turn into undulating clouds and index cards multiply into piercing stalagmites. Sparking a sense of awe is Donovan’s calling card, so when Andrea Grover, curator of special projects at the Parrish Art Museum, began her search for an artist for the fourth iteration of the museum’s single-artist series, Platform, she didn’t have to think twice when Donovan was proposed.
From July 4 through October 12, three new works from the artist will fill the Herzog & de Meuron–designed space. The first piece, a freestanding sculpture (pictured), features the coils of Slinkys spread open, attached to a welded armature, and teased to evoke a dispersion of material in space. “Think smoke unfurling in the air,” explains Donovan. This spectacle sets off another wall-mounted piece: Slinkys are deconstructed and refashioned to project a two-dimensional view along a wall in meandering patterns that can be expanded or contracted. Tying the sculptural works together are relief prints that use the same construction method as the wall work. Matrices of Slinkys were produced in a hydraulic press to create stencils, which were then inked with an airbrush and printed. All three pieces were constructed at a Long Island studio and then brought together at the Parrish for installation.
“Thinking about the integration of my work within the museum collection was a new approach for me,” says Donovan. Although versed in responding to spatial elements such as light, square footage, and the textures of interior surfaces, the artist suddenly had to take into account spaces filled with the works of Childe Hassam, Dan Flavin, and John Chamberlain. At the core of each project, “the structural and aesthetic potential of the material itself is always my point of departure,” says Donovan. “As with much of my work, the pieces develop through a type of dialogue with the material in order to tease out structural possibilities.”
"Platform: Tara Donovan” runs from July 4 through October 12, 279 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill, 283-2118