Art: Pop-up gallery in Menlo Park: otherworldly forms

Local pop-up art gallery Pace Menlo Park recently opened the doors to its latest exhibition, "Tara Donovan: Untitled," located in the former Tesla dealership at 300 El Camino Real in Menlo Park.

The collection, which includes Donovan's pieces from 2000 to present, showcases a number of the artist's large-scale creations made from mass-produced materials.

"For artwork, it's the perfect place," said Elizabeth Sullivan, director of Pace Menlo Park, of the old dealership.

As the exhibit is part of a pop-up gallery, it will be dismantled as quickly as it was erected. At the end of June, staff will cart its pieces back to New York and the building will embrace an as-yet unknown fate.

Until then, Silicon Valley can appreciate the airy building in a new way -- as a backdrop for Donovan's striking single-material structures, all fabricated from repetitive applications of commonplace objects like clear plastic buttons, toothpicks and metal straight pins.

"It's very organic and really works with the light so beautifully," Sullivan said of Donovan's work. Sullivan added that she'll often roll up the gallery's garage doors just so the pieces can play with the sunlight.

Donovan's pieces often recall organic forms and can be likened to coral reefs, delicate stalagmites or billowy cloud cover.

Donovan also plays with perception and scale, creating towering works of shimmering Mylar and full-wall installations that span hundreds of square feet.

Visitors are also welcome to peek around the gallery's curtained wall to see works from other Pace artists, such as two of Paul Graham's photographs of Penn Station.

"Tara Donovan: Untitled" will show at 300 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, from May 22 to June 30. The gallery is open to visitors, free of charge, Monday through Saturday from 1 to 9 p.m. For more information, go to pacegallery.com.

-- Lena Pressesky


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