My work is about transformation, survival and how a life continues after it has been turned upside down. I work with trash and found objects because they were once a part of a whole that has been disassembled and cast aside. There is something beautiful about the remnants and the history they represent. Each fragment is a glimpse of a story that is waiting to be retold with a different ending. I want the objects to become something new, to reference their past, but to grow a new skin and context.
The detritus from the square block around my studio is collected combined with readymades and reconfigured into specimens that teem with life. The unknown after a loss can be crippling but my work is about a steadfast determinism that prevails.
Preternatural was created by amassing newspapers, magazines, construction remnants along with my studio trash. All were covered and concealed with plaster, creating a camouflage of sorts. When the plaster dried, it resembled an artifact from Pompeii and was carefully excavated to reveal the objects and history beneath. Light was added to illuminate the process, bring awareness to the parts and remind the viewer that what they were seeing was not what it seemed.
Aberration was also made from trash. I collected the detritus and added it to the form over time, allowing it to grow slowly. Cement block fragments, wires, chopsticks, paper, aluminum foil and plastic all make it into the mix.
Frailty and strength coexist and the traditions of craft and sculpture are mixed with invention, creating fresh forms. Inspired by her own experiences and observations, Donna Cleary transforms materials, giving them new life.
MFA candidate, School of Visual Arts, NY, NY
Undergraduate courses at Columbia University and The School of Visual Arts
University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, Bachelor of Science
2013 Upcoming in May, May Fair Festival of the Arts, Allentown, PA Large scale, site specific, outdoor installation.
2012 Select Fair, French Neon Collective, Miami, FL, Art Basel Week
2011 You are here, Second Floor Gallery, New York, NY
2011 Art Connects Gallery, New York, NY
2010 Flux Factory, Chelsea, NY
2010 Seven Year Itch, Leo Kesting Gallery, New York, NY
2010 Donna Cleary/The X Spot, Solo Show, Leo Kesting Gallery, New York, NY
2010 Fountain NY Art Fair, Leo Kesting Gallery, New York, NY, Armory Week
2009 Fountain Miami, Leo Kesting Gallery, Miami, Florida, Art Basel Week
2009 Headbones Gallery, Toronto, Canada
2009 Deleon White Gallery, Toronto, Canada
2009 Fountain NY Art Fair, Leo Kesting Gallery, New York, NY, Armory Week
2009 True Love is Fleeting,Leo Kesting Gallery,New York, NY
2008 Fountain Miami, Leo Kesting Gallery, Miami, Florida, Art Basel Week
2008 Guaranteed Good, Leo Kesting Gallery, New York, NY
2008 www.women, Headbones Gallery, Toronto, CA
2006 Xray, Yankee, Zulo, Monkdogz Urban Art, New York, NY
2011 School of Visual Arts, Artist Residency, New York, NY
Jonathan Stein, Leo Kesting and Donna Cleary: The X Spot, Spread Art Culture, January 21, 2010
Marina Hedley, Blurring Boundaries, Monkdogz Artblog, January 14, 2010
Catinca Tabacaru, Donna Cleary The X Spot at Leo Kesting, Tincaart, January, 2010
Jessica Gallucci, MoreIntelligentLife.com, The Economist, February 2009
Artcomments.com, Armory week 2009: Fountain Art Review, February 2009
Blazakovic Norelsky, Irreversible Magazine, March 2009
ArtMoco, February 2009
Torontovisualartists, The Collective, February 2008
Art Moco, Modern Contemporary Art, Mocoloco.com, "Painting: Donna Cleary", August 23 2006
Art Moco, Modern Contemporary Art, Mocoloco.com, "This week at Art Moco", Art Moco, Aug 25 2006
The New Yorkers, MetroStudios Inc., New York, NY, Live TV interview with Donna Cleary, July 19 2006
Founder and President, Theory and Practice Group, School of Visual Arts, NY, NY