Review: Tara Donovan's 'Pins'

Tara Donovan's 'Pins' will run through Oct. 15 at Garvey

4 stars

Garvey|Simon Art Access; through Oct. 15.

Brooklyn-based Tara Donovan is known for her site-specific installations that fill vast museum spaces with accumulations of everyday objects.

Some of her cube-shaped sculptures, for example, are accumulations of thousands of straight pins. Donovan's complete set of seven relief prints in this show also employ pins—but as part of a printing process.

She starts out a particular relief print by sticking thousands of pins through foam core in a particular pattern that pleases her. She then inks the pin heads. The pattern is then recorded on paper, utilizing a hydraulic press. The resulting swarms of black dots on paper might suggest to you organic processes at the molecular level.

You might also think, when looking at certain prints, of cloudscapes. Other prints, printed with repeating circular patterns, might make you think of rock-clinging crustaceans along a stretch of beach shore.

These are the same kind of associations that might also come to mind in approaching her 3D work in a museum setting. (You might also sense a certain irony in seeing organic processes being mimicked by accumulations of manufactured materials.)

But, regardless of whether you're approaching Donovan's work in this particular gallery show or in a museum space, all you really need to appreciate it is a sense of wonder.


Arts Editor

Having lived and worked in Indy on and off since 1977, I've seen the city change a great deal. I love covering the arts in all its forms, and the places where the arts and broader cultural issues intersect.

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