Tara Donovan, ‘Untitled’, 2015, Headlands Center for the Arts: Benefit Auction 2017

Please note: After bidding closes on Artsy, bids on this piece will be transferred and executed at the live auction component of the Headlands Center for the Arts benefit auction on the evening of June 7, 2017.

Tara Donovan creates large-scale installations and sculptures made from everyday objects. Known for her commitment to process, she has earned acclaim for her ability to discover the inherent physical characteristics of an object and transform it into art. Donovan’s work has appeared in numerous solo and group exhibitions at such venues as the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Milwaukee Art Museum; the Hammer Museum; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, among others. In 2013-14, her survey exhibition traveled from the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark, to the Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck in Remagen, Germany. More recently, Donovan has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Pace Gallery, New York; Parrish Museum, Water Mill, New York; and Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh, Scotland. She received a BFA from the Corcoran College of Art and Design and an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Donovan lives and works in New York.

–Courtesy of Headlands Center for the Arts

Framing Courtesy of The Painters Place

Image rights: Courtesy of Donovan Studios and PACE Palo Alto

About Tara Donovan

Tara Donovan fabricates site-specific installations using banal materials such as Styrofoam cups, paper plates, and No. 2 pencils. Donovan cites the unique material properties of the chosen material, such as the translucency of Scotch tape, as the driving force behind her sculptural compositions, which are often reminiscent of organic or molecular structures. In her 2003 installation Haze, for example, Donovan stacked over two million plastic drinking straws against the gallery wall, the multiplicity of the individual components yielding to the overall impression of an undulating, cloud-like form. Donovan’s use of singular materials and adherence to rule-based systems has aligned her with the legacies of Minimalist artists such as Sol LeWitt and Eva Hesse, though her work tends to favor biological forms rather than a rectilinear grid system. Donovan was a recipient of the MacArthur "Genius Grant" in 2008.

American, b. 1969, Nyack, New York, based in Brooklyn, New York

Group Shows

Heiner Contemporary, 
STASH: Polly Apfelbaum, Ingrid Calame, Tara Donovan, Deborah Kass, Kate Shepherd, Jon-Phillip Sheridan and Austin Thomas
National Academy of Design, 
New York, NY, United States,
179th Annual Exhibition
View Artist's CV