Tara Donovan

Untitled, 2008. Styrofoam cups and glue.


The american sculptor Tara Donovan (1969) makes large scale sculptures and installations that posses a quality that excites and inspires me. The forms and structures that her large sculptures are composed of suggest biomorphic connotations. In the same instance her works appear to be both synthetic and organic all with their own strong characteristics. Some are undulating and bulbous like clouds, sea weed and fleshy entrails in clean, soothing, clinical whiteness. Others are sharper, static and aggressive with long thin protrusions clumped together in a spiky, almost hairy looking mass. They very much remind me of crystal structures, cell growths, geological processes like erosion, deposition, eruption. Some have a sense of growth and appear to want to keep growing, to take over the whole space they inhabit and climb the walls of the room, burst through doorways and windows to engulf the buildings exterior and the surrounding streets! Perhaps if I should see her works in person my opinion would differ…

Untitled, Plastic Cups. This piece in particular reminded me of Ai WeiWei’s work called ‘Straight’ which  was composed in a similar format only produced using straightened rusty Re-bar collected from collapsed buildings.

“Untitled molecule”, 2010.

She uses common manufactured material resources to produce her large, biomorphic type sculptures. The materials used include things like paper plates, scotch tape and polystyrene cups.”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.” – Pace

I feel like Donovan’s sculptures and installations hold a quality that I want my work to possess, I am not yet sure whether this is due to the materials, the scale or indeed the vibrancy of the forms she creates, but I hope I can install a sense of the feeling that I get, when I look at her work, to my audience when they look at mine.

Sand in balloons 


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