Donald Judd

18 Feb - 26 Mar 2011

Donald Judd
Untitled, 1985
enamel on aluminum
11-3/4" x 59" x 11-3/4" (30 cm x 150 cm x 30 cm)
Works in Granite, Cor-ten, Plywood, and Enamel on Aluminum
18 February - 26 March, 2011

The Pace Gallery is pleased to present Donald Judd: Works in Granite, Cor-ten, Plywood, and Enamel on Aluminum, featuring thirteen wall and floor pieces from 1978 through 1992. In the final two decades of Judd’s life, the artist introduced a variety of new materials to his work that expanded his possibilities for formal innovation. The exhibition will be on view from February 18 through March 26, 2011 at 534 West 25th Street. A catalogue with an entry on each work written by Marianne Stockebrand, Director Emerita of the Chinati Foundation, will accompany the show. An opening reception will be held at the gallery on February 17, 2011 from 6-8 p.m.

Judd considered material one of the three “main aspects of visual art.” In his articulation of “actual” space and his inventive use of color, he paid particular attention to the selection and fabrication of materials. This exhibition focuses on some of the “lesser known” and, as Stockebrand writes in the catalogue essay, “more unusual materials” that Judd worked with in the later years of his life.
Donald Judd: Works in Granite, Cor-ten, Plywood, and Enamel on Aluminum will be the thirteenth exhibition devoted to the artist at The Pace Gallery in a history that spans two decades. The artist worked closely with The Pace Gallery during the final years of his life. Most recently, in 2007, The Pace Gallery mounted the groundbreaking exhibition, Josef Albers / Donald Judd: Form and Color, which paired the theoretical approaches to color and formal structures of these two seminal artists.

This exhibition will feature a Cor-ten steel floor box measuring 100 x 200 x 200 cm from 1989 and a Cor-ten steel vertical wall work with black Plexiglas from 1991 measuring 300 x 50 x 25 cm (overall installed). Judd began using Cor-ten steel in the 1980s for a small number of large-scale outdoor pieces, and by 1989 would create single and multi-part works with the material. The Cor-ten works are unique in that they are the only works the artist fabricated in Marfa, Texas, his long-term home and aesthetic laboratory. The warm brown color and velvety surface added a new element to his work. Judd once said about the material that for years he had resisted it, thinking of it as “Richard’s [Serra] material, but then I realized it was just a material, and how I would use it would be different from how Richard used it.”

Six wall mounted enamel on aluminum works from 1985 fabricated at Lehni AG (Switzerland), and a work each fabricated at Studer (Switzerland), 1987, and Lascaux Materials Ltd. (New York), 1989, will also be on view in this exhibition. Judd’s work with enamel on aluminum greatly expanded his palette of industrial colors, which had previously been restricted to the colors of anodized metal and Plexiglas. The artist began working with enamel on aluminum in 1984, when he had the Lehni factory in Switzerland bend thin sheets of the material—a process previously used to create furniture—for a temporary exhibition outdoor in the Merian Park, outside Basel. Combining a wide range of colors, Judd used the material to create five large-scale floor pieces (including one in the Museum of Modern Art, New York) and horizontal wall works in unique variations of color and size, such as those on view in this exhibition.

An important shift in Judd’s work came in 1972 when he resumed working with plywood (having worked with metal since the mid-1960s). The artist embraced the material for its durable structural qualities, which enabled him to expand the size of his works while avoiding the problem of bending or buckling. Highlights on view in this exhibition include two plywood floor boxes: an Untitled work from 1978 (19 1⁄2 x 45 x 30 1⁄2"), as well as a later example from 1989 (36 x 60 x 60"). The exhibition will also feature a wall-mounted half-meter (1992) and meter box (1989), both of plywood with red and brown Plexiglas respectively. Like the 1978 plywood floor box, both wall-mounted boxes incorporate diagonal panels—“a more dynamic device” that “conveys a sense of movement,” Stockebrand explains. The diagonal emerged from Judd’s work with plywood and would become entrenched into his formal language, later appearing in his work with other materials. Important examples of Judd’s work in plywood can be found permanently installed at Dia: Beacon.

An Untitled Sierra White granite floor piece from 1978 will also be on view. This rare piece is Judd’s only known work in granite. The work measures 49 x 98 x 98". The structure is composed of two vertical slabs that rest on the floor, to which the bottom component is conjoined, and the ceiling of the structure extends to the outer edges of the vertical walls. The piece is one of Judd’s few non site-specific outdoor works, and has had one owner since it was made in the 1970s. This is the first time the work has been included in an exhibition devoted to Judd’s work.

In October 2010, two important texts on the artist and The Chinati Foundation were published: Donald Judd, the first monograph devoted to the artist (Yale University Press), written by David Raskin, professor of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Chinati: The Vision of Donald Judd, the first comprehensive overview of The Chinati Foundation’s history and collection (co-published by Chinati and Yale University Press), written and edited by Marianne Stockebrand, with additional essays by Rudi Fuchs, Thomas Kellein, Nicholas Serota, and Richard Shiff, as well as writings by the artist. The book was designed by Rutger Fuchs, who has designed all of Chinati’s printed materials since the mid-1990s, and also includes photography by Florian Holzherr and Douglas Tuck.

After serving in the United States Army during the Korean War, Donald Judd (1928–1994) attended the College of William and Mary, the Art Students League, and Columbia University, where he graduated cum laude with a B.S. in philosophy in 1953 and would pursue graduate studies in art history (1957–62). Beginning in the 60s, Judd exhibited regularly in the United States, Europe, and Japan. He was also a critic for Artnews, Arts Magazine and Art International (1959–65), producing many important theoretical writings on art and exhibition practices, which remain central to his legacy. Judd taught at several academic institutions throughout the 1960s and 70s, including the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, Dartmouth College, Yale University and Oberlin College.

Judd and his family moved to Marfa, Texas, in 1972, where the artist would found the Chinati Foundation, which opened to the public in 1986. The Chinati Foundation is an independent, non-profit, publicly funded institution which preserves and presents permanent installations by Judd and a limited number of artists, including John Chamberlain, Dan Flavin, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. The remote site, located over 200 miles in either direction between El Paso and Midland, attracts over 10,000 visitors annually. Today, Judd’s legacy also survives through the Judd Foundation, established in 1996 and committed to maintaining and preserving the artist’s permanently-installed living and working spaces, libraries, and archives in Marfa and New York. The artist’s former studio and residence at 101 Spring Street (built in 1870), was given the distinction by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as the only intact single-use cast iron building remaining in SoHo.

During his lifetime, Judd received grants and awards from the John Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, the Sikkens Foundation, and the Swedish Institute, among others. The artist’s work has been included in 236 solo museum and gallery exhibitions worldwide, including, most recently, Donald Judd at the Tate Modern, London, 2004, which traveled to major museums in Dusseldorf and Basel through 2005. Other important exhibitions include Donald Judd. Early Work 1955–1968 at Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany, 2002 (traveled to The Menil Collection, Houston in 2003); Donald Judd Colorist, Sprengel Museum, Hanover, Germany, 2000 (traveled to Bregenz, Austria and Nice, France through 2001); Donald Judd: Prints 1951–1993, Retrospektive der Druckgraphik, Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, 1993–1994 (traveled to Valencia, Zurich, Vienna, and Wiesbaden, Germany through 1996); Donald Judd: werken uit Nederlandse openbare collecties en een Belgische privé–verzameling t.g.v. de Sikkensprijs 1993 [Donald Judd: works from Dutch public collections and a Belgian private collection to commemorate the Sikkens Prize 1993], Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1993–1994; Kunst + Design: Donald Judd, Museum Wiesbaden, 1993–1994 (traveled to Chemnitz and Karlsruhe in Germany, Oxford, England and Odense, Denmark through 1995); and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1988 (traveled to Dallas Museum of Art in 1989).

Judd’s work is in the collection of nearly every major public art institution in the United States and abroad.

Tags: Josef Albers, Coosje van Bruggen, John Chamberlain, Dan Flavin, Rudi Fuchs, Donald Judd, Claes Oldenburg