Perambulating the Bounds

Friday, May 25, 2007

Pencil stubs at Berkeley

Got a chance to stop by the Berkeley Art Museum this trip to California. There’s always at least a few delightful things there. This time one was Colony by Tara Donovan, a ridiculous number of pencils cut off to stubs of various lengths and stood up on end in bunches to create an island-like topographic blob covering several square feet of floor. This sort of fantasy landscape never ceases to entertain me, like Charles Simmonds’ little cliff dwellings. Donovan’s landscapes have something to do with dreams, something to do with fantasies of all sorts. Their scale also produces this little shiver of excitement—they are big and small. This piece is a miniature, but it’s big enough to also constitute a pretty sizable object. While I've never seen it, I'm thinking of the effect the Queens Museum's Panorama of the City of New York must have.

Of course I first noticed her with a piece that was completely over the top, her installation at PaceWildenstein last year in which she filled one of those big, first-floor, Chelsea former garage spaces with plastic cups arranged into a translucent, imaginary topography.

Here’s a picture of it we took of it. All of that stuff in the center of the room is plastic cups, stacked up and piled next to each other.

Here’s one of me and Dad posing with it:


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