Be forewarned: if this gallery were a broom closet, it would be generously sized. As a gallery space, it’s a tiny room, and Donnelly’s solo show consists of two pieces. Her work, inspired by wallpaper, ornament and the color palette of the Taft’s interior, handles its intimate space well. You can’t view the work from afar, but it’s designed for close examination anyway.
The piece above, entitled Enclosure and reminiscent of a gown, features a pale blue screenprint with lacy papercuts loosely following the pattern of the print. It is hung from the ceiling.
Pose, the wall-mounted piece below, is like a series of wallpaper rolls lazily mocked up on the wall in a home, or perhaps peeling off the wall. Its exterior surface is painted tan to match the gallery wall perfectly. Peering into the layers of paper, a bright yellow screenprint emerges and plays effectively with the shadows on the paper and on the wall behind it.
Donnelly’s installation is constructed of ephemeral, pedestrian materials that lack mass. Installed as three-dimensional sculptural works, both pieces gain visual weight, and their interactions with the lighting in the room extend their size. The resulting shadows expand the presence of the work in the diminutive space.
The subtle color and form references, too, expand the relevance of the work while one wanders through the other galleries, whose interior design has been echoed in Donnelly’s pieces. The humble scale of the gallery and the artist’s installation belie the impact of the work.