Extending upon the artist’s core interest in investigating aggregative procedures using a singular material, the new series is comprised of wall-mounted framed works in various sizes that explore stratification as both a sculptural technique and a means to construct a two-dimensional picture plane.
Departing from the monumental forms Donovan produced of layered and heaped styrene cards suggesting stalagmites or wind-eroded outcroppings—which comprised part of her solo exhibition at Pace 25th Street in 2014—the new series inverts the sculptural logic of voluminous horizontal stacking by the use of the frame as a means to control the density and orientation of the styrene cards. Each Composition (Cards) develops through an improvisational process of incremental stacking that slowly evolves into a unique set of strategic rules that guides the completion of the work into an abstract graphic composition. The convergence of the styrene cards becomes a dynamic two-dimensional surface pattern of parallel linesproduced by the edges of each card standing perpendicular to the wall. Combining the linearity of drawing with the materiality of painting, the surface gains sculptural volume when a viewer moves around the work, which reveals the depth inherent to the negative spaces between each of the cards. The cumulative effect of these perceptual qualities recalls lenticular printing techniques that rely on offsetting layers to create the illusion of motion on a static surface.
Presented in dense groupings of individual works, the exhibition also subverts canonical notions of Minimalist seriality by playing with the anonymous, mechanical format of repeated objects. While seemingly a display of inert monochrome works from afar, the curious viewer is rewarded with highly responsive, undulating fields of material upon closer inspection.