Tara Donovan’s Perceptual Pin Drawings

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Artists — at least the ones in Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museums — have been known to make paintings on the heads of pins, but few of them would consider making art mainly from pins. Tara Donovan — a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award” recipient — has previously assembled hundreds of thousands of them into sculptural cubes and inked their heads to make mesmerizing prints; but for her latest series of works, Donovan pushes gazillions of nickel-plated steel pins into white gatorboard to make optical-art drawings that are both stimulating and sublime.

A selection of Donovan’s radiating abstractions is currently on view in Tara Donovan: Drawings (Pins) at The Pace Gallery in New York, while another branch of the prestigious New York gallery offers a huge, seductive sculpture by Donovan that’s whimsically made from silvery, lightweight Mylar.

Click through below for a gallery of images.

Tara Donovan, Drawing (Pins), 2010, gatorboard, paint, and nickel-plated steel pins, 72″ x 72″ x 2-1/2″ (182.9 cm x 182.9 cm x 6.4 cm), © Tara Donovan, courtesy The Pace Gallery, Photo Courtesy The Pace Gallery

Tara Donovan, Drawing (Pins), 2010, gatorboard, paint, and nickel-plated steel pins, 96″ x 96″ x 2-1/2″ (243.8 cm x 243.8 cm x 6.4 cm), © Tara Donovan, courtesy The Pace Gallery, Photo by: G. R. Christmas/ Courtesy The Pace Gallery

Tara Donovan, Drawing (Pins), 2010, gatorboard, paint, and nickel-plated steel pins, 72″ x 72″ x 2-1/2″ (182.9 cm x 182.9 cm x 6.4 cm), © Tara Donovan, courtesy The Pace Gallery, Photo by: Kerry Ryan McFate/ Courtesy The Pace Gallery

Tara Donovan, Drawing (Pins), 2010, gatorboard, paint, and nickel-plated steel pins, 96″ x 96″ x 2-1/2″ (243.8 cm x 243.8 cm x 6.4 cm), © Tara Donovan, courtesy The Pace Gallery, Photo Courtesy The Pace Gallery

Tara Donovan, Drawing (Pins), 2010, gatorboard, paint, and nickel-plated steel pins, 60″ x 60″ x 2-1/2″ (152.4 cm x 152.4 cm x 6.4 cm), © Tara Donovan, courtesy The Pace Gallery, Photo by: Kerry Ryan McFate/ Courtesy The Pace Gallery

Tara Donovan, Drawing (Pins), 2010, gatorboard, paint, and nickel-plated steel pins, 72″ x 145″ x 2-1/2″ (182.9 cm x 368.3 cm x 6.4 cm), overall installed, 72″ x 72″ x 2-1/2″ (182.9 cm x 182.9 cm x 6.4 cm), two panels, each, © Tara Donovan, courtesy The Pace Gallery, Photo by: Kerry Ryan McFate/ Courtesy The Pace Gallery

Tara Donovan, Drawing (Pins), 2010 (detail), gatorboard, paint, and nickel-plated steel pins, 72″ x 72″ x 2-1/2″ (182.9 cm x 182.9 cm x 6.4 cm), © Tara Donovan, courtesy The Pace Gallery, Photo by: Kerry Ryan McFate/ Courtesy The Pace Gallery

Tara Donovan, Drawing (Pins), 2010 (detail), gatorboard, paint, and nickel-plated steel pins, 72″ x 72″ x 2-1/2″ (182.9 cm x 182.9 cm x 6.4 cm), © Tara Donovan, courtesy The Pace Gallery, Photo by: Kerry Ryan McFate/ Courtesy The Pace Gallery

Tara Donovan, Drawing (Pins), 2010 (detail), gatorboard, paint, and nickel-plated steel pins, 72″ x 72″ x 2-1/2″ (182.9 cm x 182.9 cm x 6.4 cm), © Tara Donovan, courtesy The Pace Gallery, Photo by: Kerry Ryan McFate/ Courtesy The Pace Gallery