Saturday, March 25, 2006

Plastic cups

Tara Donovan's plastic cup installation, "Untitled (Plastic Cups)," looks like a topographic map or better, a snow-covered glacier.

We thought of Friedrich's "The Polar Sea," a landscape with plates and chunks of ice compounded atop each other, generating blues and yellows as the light filters through. Similar color variation occurs in "Untitled," despite the uniform cup selection. The translucent cups brew blues in the thin areas and yellows in the denser areas. It's like Ryman, painting in white, but enabling other colors via the bare canvas. Where the towers of stacked cups reach up to chest height, they bow and lean, radiating out, as if to bloom from the mass.

Three million cups make up the sculpture. Assembly took three days, completed by nine assistants. We bet that the cups will be used for drinking wine at the closing reception.

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