Donald Judd

"Half or more of the best new work in the last few years has been neither painting nor sculpture. Usually it has been related, closely or distantly, to one or the other."

- Quoted from his text Specific Objects by D. Judd, 1965

Donald Judd rejected the label “minimal art” for his often brightly coloured abstract constructions preferring instead to call them “Specific objects”.

He studied at the Art Students League and at Columbia University where he studied Philosophy and a Master’s degree in Art History. He wrote art criticism for ArtNews and later Arts Magazine in the late 50s to the mid 60s. In the mid-1950s, Judd began as an abstract painter later moved to three-dimensional constructions, before he developed his more characteristic box-like constructions.

Judd was excited by the definition of actual space defined by his forms rather than illusionist space. He and his father fabricated his early wooden constructions and then painted them a uniform colour. He later had these works industrially produced to avoid the hand-made quality of his early works. He is best known for his stacking pieces that consist of rectangular box like constructions that alternate with equivalent empty spaces. His “specific objects” are constructed from steel, aluminum and metal as well as industrial materials like Perspex. The National Gallery of Canada organized a major exhibition on Judd in 1975 and compiled a catalogue raisonné.

Donald Judd © Judd Foundation. Licensed by VAGA, NYC 2004

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