Tara Donovan

Tara Donovan

Sculpting Everyday Materials

Everyday materials like drinking straws, tooth pics and needle pins are elements used by American artist Tara Donovan, when she creates her amazing sculptural works: "Inspiration is a joke, real artists sit down and work" Donovan says.

Tara Donovan (b. 1969) is fascinated by everyday materials, which she turns into sculptures. She regards herself as a kind of scientist, investigating the potential of different materials, transforming and shaping them, making them transcend themselves and turning them into holistic Gestalten of their own. The element of light plays an important role in Donovan's artworks, as her materials take light in and reflect it different ways. “My sculptures become activated by the movement of the observer” Donovan says. Her works vary in size, depending on the surrounding architecture and the size of the room, they are shown in. She goes on to explain how the magic happens within the sculptures, underlining that her sculptures are artworks rather than critical comments. “I feel like my work is mimicking the ways of nature, not necessarily mimicking nature per ce.” Donovan states.

In the video we hear the voice of Tara Donovan, who doesn't like to be filmed. Her works are exhibited for the first time in Europe in February 2013 at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

Tara Donovan was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

Camera: Mathias Nyholm
Produced by: Mathias Nyholm and Marc-Christoph Wagner
Music by: Trentemøller.
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2013

Supported by Nordea-fonden

  • Per Bak Jensen

    The Presence of the Absent

    We met Danish photographer Per Bak Jensen for a talk about desirable ‘hidden things’, and how photographing the world helps him understand it – and himself: “I can’t describe it in words. So instead I’ve chosen to photograph it.”

  • Meriç Algün Ringborg

    Absurd Questions

    ‘Have you ever been declared judicially incompetent?’ Turkish artist Meriç Algün Ringborg uses her own surreal experience as an immigrant in her challenging art, which confronts the bureaucracy of immigration.

  • Piet Hein Eek

    Maximum Respect for Materials

    The fabulous furniture of Dutch designer, Piet Hein Eek, has become an admired international brand. Here he reveals his inspiring creative philosophy and introduces us to his 10,000 square meters production unit in Eindhoven, where he executes his ideas “out of chaos.”

  • Piet Hein Eek

    I Want to be Normal

    Most designers aim at creating innovative things. This makes it possible to be extraordinary by being ‘normal’, according to the unconventional icon of Dutch design, Piet Hein Eek, who has built a brand around designs made from discarded materials.

  • Thomas Bangsted

    Rotary Obstacles

    “For me to get involved with a new picture, it has to suggest a sense of impossibility at the outset.” Danish photographer, Thomas Bangsted, discloses how photographic obstacles is his great source of inspiration.

  • Alfredo Jaar

    Images are not Innocent

    "A million people were killed in 100 days under the criminal indifference of the world". In this interview artist Alfredo Jaar reminds us of the importance of images and why they are not innocent.

  • Rosy Keyser

    Painting After Jimi Hendrix

    Interview with American artist Rosy Keyser about her painting Monterey (2007), inspired by Jimi Hendrix burning his guitar at the Monterey International Pop Music Festival in June 1967.

  • Thomas Bangsted

    A Photographic Puzzle

    Danish photographer Thomas Bangsted spends months, even years, completing a single picture, creating what he describes as ‘photographic puzzles’. Come along as we follow him on a quest for the ideal setting.

  • Olga Grjasnowa

    A Book can Save Your Life

    “I’m not sure whether society has really learnt anything from the Holocaust.” She began her life in Germany as an immigrant and became painfully aware of the prejudice that still exists. Meet young Azerbaijan-born novelist, Olga Grjasnowa.

  • Lydia Davis

    Advice to the Young

    “Be patient – even with chaos.” Let American author, Lydia Davis, guide you through the insecurities and literary wilderness that upcoming writers often face.

  • Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen

    Performing Seven Songs

    A goddess, a Marlene Dietrich character, a veiled woman. Meet performance artist Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, who addresses dilemmas of modern life through disguises.

  • Hisham Matar & David Vann

    Something Still About Writing

    “Every time I’m described as a ‘novelist’, I feel there’s a big question mark after that,” Libyan novelist Hisham Matar jestingly remarks in this playful conversation with fellow American novelist, David Vann, about being essentially unoriginal.