Using sculpture, drawing, photographs, text, sound, video, and painting, Trisha Donnelly has composed this installation, her first solo museum exhibition in the United States, using works made between 1998 and 2007. In a breathtakingly spare gallery, 24 works of art are closely hung on a horizontal line. The works on display, which also include one sculpture and three different sound works, propose a reconfiguration of the past constructed from a rigorous, distinctly personal selection.
Trisha Donnelly’s ineffable body of work resists simple characterization. A lexicon of imagery and action relies on the power of suggestion: what precise, economical gesture can evoke a moment, a place, a feeling? How does sound create form? With a word, can the artist embed herself in our consciousness? These potent gestures are catalysts, and this is the crux of Donnelly’s work. What unite her media-diverse work are gestures of altered time, shifters, dimensional explorations, evocation, perception, and belief structures.
Time, literally and metaphorically, is a signature of Donnelly’s work: a drawing may request slowness, a sound piece may stretch a phrase interminably, a video presents an action in slow motion, a photograph freezes a turn of the torso. This pause generates shifts, fractures, and collapses in time, both in the present and in time’s historical reverberations. This exhibition, too, requests time.