Tara Donovan

MFA, 1999

Tara Donovan (b. 1969, New York) creates large-scale installations and sculptures made from everyday objects. She received a B.F.A. (1991) from the Corcoran College of Art and Design and an M.F.A. (1999) from Virginia Commonwealth University. Known for her commitment to process, she has earned acclaim for her ability to discover the inherent physical characteristics of an object and transform it into art. Donovan’s many accolades include the prestigious MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award (2008); and first annual Calder Prize (2005), among others. For over a decade, numerous museums have mounted solo exhibitions of Donovan’s work including the Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck in Remagen, Germany, and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark (2013-2014), the Milwaukee Art Museum (2012), the Indianapolis Museum of Art (2010), the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (2007-2008), UCLA Hammer Museum (2004), and Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (1999-2000). Her work is currently on view in solo projects at the Parrish Art Museum in Watermill, New York, and Jupiter Artland in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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What have you been up to since graduating from VCU?

It’s been a whirlwind. I moved to New York where I was included in the 2000 Whitney Biennial. My first solo exhibition at Ace Gallery in 2003 got a lot of attention. I joined Pace Gallery in 2005. I’ve been lucky to show steadily at museums and galleries nationally and internationally ever since.

What advice would you give a current VCU Sculpture student?

Work hard and let the work speak for itself.

How did VCU prepare you for your current situation?

VCU gave me the time and space to learn how to develop a studio-based practice.

How do you define success?


Why did you decide to study sculpture?

I’ve always been interested in materiality so sculpture seemed the most logical route.