"Haze 2003" by Tara Donovan
More on the show from Artinfo
We were lucky to see Tara Donovan at Pace Gallery this month, just 2 blocks from the office in Chelsea, then all the way across the country at the gallery’s Silicon Valley pop up.
If you haven’t caught them yet, both exhibitions—a survey of her work installed in a former car dealership, and two magical, room-sized sculptures (one made of index cards and one of acrylic rods)—have been extended until almost the end of the summer.
Madeleine’s third visit.
Pace Menlo Park is in a former Tesla dealership, and just as described in this worthwhile SF Chronicle piece, “Discovering a blue-chip gallery in a former car dealership on El Camino Real is like seeing a unicorn in a strip mall; suddenly everyday life is bizarrely punctuated with otherworldly glamour.”
A commercial garage door (casually rolled up partway) opens the gallery to a parking lot.
The chain-link fence and a tree across the lot are part of what you see through this piece.
"Haze 2003" is made of clear drinking straws, nebulous and near invisible from a few steps away, but we would have regretted missing it (watch the video in our next post to see why).
Structures made of pencils and buttons
Our book is on the shelves at Pace Menlo Park. Published with a major solo exhibition at the Institute for Contemporary Art/Boston, it was one of the first to document her work—Tara Donovan.
Find the shows here:
Or see them reproduced in THE ASTONISHING WORKS OF JOHN ALTOON.
Reblog via instagram: "Tara Donovan Mimics Nature with the Mundane"
The American artist Tara Donovan’s latest exhibition—on display through August 15 at Pace Gallery (@pacegallery) in New York City—consists of eight massive stalagmites constructed entirely from millions of glued-together index cards.
Donovan, whose critically-acclaimed work earned her the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 2008, challenges perceived distinctions between natural and artificial. By building large, organically shaped structures with everyday manmade materials like drinking straws, toothpicks and styrofoam cups, she forces viewers to reconsider the difference between the majestic and the mundane.
Sex is also an obvious tool of mass-media commercial art, flooding late-20th century America, with which Altoon was well-versed. Several satirical works play with advertising motifs.
One shows a dapper young couple in a White Owl cigar ad: He smokes, she pouts. Rather than focus on a close-up as a conventional ad would, Altoon pulls back (like a reverse camera-zoom) to show the fashionable pair full-length: Both are stark naked below the waist.”
Plug the words “Lee Harvey Oswald ” into Google image search and you’ll turn up all the classic pictures of the man who shot John F. Kennedy : the mug shot, the backyard portrait of Oswald holding a rifle, and the moment in which Jack Ruby puts an end to his life. There is also a whole lot of Internet ridiculosity: cleverly Photoshopped images depict Oswald in an X-Box T-shirt, holding a banjo, playing in a band. My favorite shows James Leavelle, the Dallas detective who led Oswald on his fatal perp walk, attending a high school dance party.
We’re excited to see this show at LACMA next month! For more about the artist, might we suggest our monograph, THE ASTONISHING WORKS OF JOHN ALTOON?
An interview with Nanette Vonnegut from her book party last week is in The Wall Street Journal: Author by Day, Artist by Night: Vonnegut’s Next Chapter
“The guest book patrons were signing was the same one used when Mr. Vonnegut showed his work at the gallery in 1980—if they flipped back a few pages, they could see the signatures of such luminaries as George Plimpton, some of which were accompanied by personal messages to Mr. Vonnegut.”
Enter to win a copy of the book here. We are raffle(copter)ing off 5 copies to lucky Vonnegut fans.
One of the most influential American writers in recent history, this new book features his collection of surreal, felt-tip drawings. The volume is edited by his daughter, Nanette. Pre-order here.
Thank you politicsprose!
"Kentucky may be renowned for its thundering Derby horse race and powerful mint juleps, but the state’s architectural legacy and pastoral heritage rarely get their due on the national stage. KENTUCKY is a highly personal collection of what Estersohn calls ‘wonderful secret places, some meticulous and others rough around the edges.’"
"Stay out of the market place. Get a job so that you can support yourself and make art when you can. At night, on the weekends, on vacation and focus on finding your own voice and forging your own vision. And only then enter the marketplace, when you’re on solid ground. Because the marketplace is chewing up and spitting out young artists like detritus.
For young women, learn your history and the history of feminist art. Because so many young artists are reinventing the wheel. I see so many young women making art that came out of “Womanhouse” in the ’70s. A lot of the content is the same because a lot of the issues are the same — sexual identity, freedom, independence. When I went back to teaching I saw these women who had been told they could “have it all” and they live in a post-feminist world, and they were struggling with that. There was this performance at Indiana University with these two women — one dressed as a clown and the other sitting on stage. The one dressed as a clown is putting balloons in the other woman’s lap, one by one. One represents college. One represents friendships. Then comes another one. Relationships. Career. Marriage. Ok, now she’s juggling all these balloons when the clown comes out and drops the baby. Now she’s got all these balloons and she simply can’t balance all six of them. She can’t. Women still struggle with this concept of “having it all.” It’s not a post-feminist world.”
—Judy Chicago, from an incredible interview in The Huffington Post today