Brooklyn artist Tara Donovan is known for amassing small objects from ordinary life into unexpected forms, such as undulating clouds born of styrofoam cups, wintry landscape installations built from white plastic drinking cups, and stalagmite accretions of lavender buttons.
In the two untitled works at the Taubman Museum of Art, thousands of straight pins form one three-foot cube, while thousands of toothpicks compose a similarly sized cube. For installation, technicians use a mold into which they pour and repeatedly settle and press down the toothpicks or pins. Then friction, density, and gravity hold the cubes together. Depending on light and distance, the toothpicks and pins take on the aspect of completely differently materials. The pins, for example, scintillate and sparkle under direct light; while, under other conditions, they may appear as a bristly fur or porously fibered resin casting.
Tara Donovan's Untitled installations are on view in the lobby of the Taubman Theater. They are a generous long-term loan from an anonymous lender.
Image credit is:
Tara Donovan (American, born 1969), "Untitled" (detail), 2004 (installed 2018), Straight pins, Courtesy of an anonymous lender, Image by Kyra Schmidt