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Artwork Spotlight: Untitled by Tara Donovan

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

2:00pm - 2:05pm

Brooklyn-based artist Tara Donovan is known for amassing small objects from ordinary life into unexpected forms, such as undulating clouds born of styrofoam cups. 

In her sculptures Untitled on view in the Taubman Theater lobby, thousands of toothpicks come together to form one cube, and thousands of pins compose another one of similar size. 

For installation, technicians used a mold into which they poured and repeatedly settled and pressed down the toothpicks or pins. Then friction, density and gravity held the cubes together. 

Depending on light and distance, the toothpicks and pins take on the aspect of completely different materials, and the stray fallen bits foretell the cubic mass's eventual disintegration.

After enjoying the Artwork Spotlight video with Executive Director Cindy Petersen and Chief Curator Dr. Patrick Shaw Cable, but sure to check out the second video featuring a time lapse of the cubes coming together during installation.


Tara Donovan (American, born 1969), Untitled, 2004 (installed 2018), Straight pins, and Untitled, 1996 (installed 2018), Toothpicks, Courtesy of an anonymous lender