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

  • Joyce Pensato

    Advice to the Young

    Homer, Mickey, Batman! Joyce Pensato – known for her unique work inspired by cartoon and comic book characters – here advises young artists to keep at it, love what they’re doing and, most importantly, “show your work, get it out there!”

  • Ulay

    Advice to the Young

    “If you want and need inspiration – go behind the central station.” The iconic artist – and self-proclaimed anarchist – Ulay here advises young artists to avoid art institutions and to make works that meet their own needs rather than that of the audience.

  • George Condo

    The Artist at Work

    The mind of American artist George Condo has been referred to as a place where “Picasso meets Looney Tunes.” Watch him at work in his New York-studio where he draws and paints his take on a 19th century painting by Manet.

  • Ulay

    Under My Skin

    This is the story of legendary artist Ulay, famous for his collaboration with Marina Abramović. As a solo artist in search for his identity, Ulay’s radical works have pushed the limits of photography and performance using his own body as material.

  • Olga Tokarczuk

    I Absorb Stories

    Olga Tokarczuk – one of the most important Polish writers of her generation – here shares how she draws inspiration from others: “People tell amazing micro-stories or even bigger stories. I seize them, absorb them and transform them in my books.”

  • Marina Abramović & Ulay

    A Living Door of the Museum

    Standing naked in the main entrance of a museum, facing each other while the audience passes sideways through the small space. Legendary performance artists Marina Abramović and Ulay share the story behind their poetic work ‘Imponderabilia’.

  • Bill Viola

    Cameras are Soul Keepers

    When video artist Bill Viola was 6 years old he fell into a lake, all the way to the bottom, to a place which seemed like paradise. "There's more than just the surface of life." Viola explains. "The real things are under the surface".

  • Wang Shu

    Architecture is a Job for God

    The Chinese architect Wang Shu’s buildings – a crossover between traditional Chinese culture and large-scale modern architecture – have earned him prestigious awards. “Democracy means a really diverse society,” says the architect in this inspiring interview.

  • Margrethe Odgaard

    Colour Diary of New York

    Becoming more aware of your surroundings can “open a new dimension inside as well as outside yourself.” Meet award-winning Danish designer Margrethe Odgaard who has trained herself to register the world through colours.

  • Nick Cave

    The World is my Skin

    Have you ever wished that you could put on a suit which would open up the imagination and take you to the world of your dreams? In this video artist Nick Cave presents his wearable sculptures, the 'Soundsuits', made from discarded everyday materials.

  • Gerhard Richter

    In Art We Find Beauty and Comfort

    “I don’t really believe art has power. But it does have value. Those who take an interest in it find solace in art. It gives them huge comfort.” Gerhard Richter, one of the greatest painters of our time, discusses beauty in the era of the internet.

  • Mika Rottenberg

    What is the Connection

    The exceptional video artist Mika Rottenberg here presents her intriguing video installation ‘Cosmic Generator.’ Set on the U.S.-Mexico border and in a huge Chinese market, the work explores the collapse – or reinforcement – of distance.