Once when I was a kid, I decided to rub two magnets along the surface of my mother’s computer. The technological myth proved true and her hard drive was wiped completely. In similar form, McKeever Donovan’s New Work explores the affective capacities of seemingly empty decorative archetypes. Donovan utilizes this space to provide the simultaneous conception and exploration of a blank slate from which his compositions emerge.

The on-paper layout of the show is as modest as the aesthetic of its comprising works. Small magnets float on the surface of three framed monochromes. A sculpture comprised of metal tubing rests on the floor atop two bath mats. The color options are equally basic. Khaki, indigo, grey, primary blue and red; a dominant presence of utilitarian décor reinforces an investment in aesthetic accountability. Donovan’s this-and-not-that approach to material selection provides a grounds for divorce from the immediate ready-made coding of the hardware store vocabulary, enabling closer engagement with the virtual-rendering capacities of its signified(s). Monochromes and bath mats serve as ground for the material gestures of magnets and tubing. These gestures mark identity and form within their respective decorative grounds, wresting affective impact from formal composition. Continue Reading More »