Donald Judd

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Donald Clarence Judd (born June 3, 1928 in Excelsior Springs , Missouri , † February 12, 1994 in New York ) was an American painter, sculptor and architect. Alongside Robert Morris (1931–2018) and Sol LeWitt (1928–2007), he is considered to be one of the main representatives of minimalism , which had developed in New York in the mid-1960s.

life and work

Untitled sculpture by Donald Judd in Münster

After graduating from New Jersey high school, Judd served in the US Army from 1946-47 before studying at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg , Virginia in 1948 . The following year he moved to Columbia University in New York, where he graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree in philosophy in 1953 . During the same period he also took painting and drawing courses at the Art Students League . In 1957 he returned to Columbia to begin a master’s degree in art history under Meyer Schapiro and Rudolf Wittkower .

From 1959 to 1965 he worked as a freelance critic for the art magazines Art News , Arts Magazine and Art International . By the time he became known as an artist, he had already made a name for himself as an art critic through his intensive preoccupation with European and young American art.

Judd began his career as a painter , but didn't want his pictures to just hang on the wall. At the beginning of the 1960s he integrated found objects into two-dimensional works in order to obtain depth not only through illusion. "Actual space is really more expressive and specific than color on a flat plane."

When he created his first free-standing, three-dimensional object in 1962, Judd left painting and subsequently posted simple wooden boxes without a pedestal in the room (like Alexander Rodchenko did in the early 1920s). In this way they became elements of the room, had a direct effect on their surroundings and changed them. Judd's groupings of cubes and ashlars designed as floor or wall pieces became famous. Despite the “strict clarity” of the work, there were interactions between open and closed volumes, internal and external shapes, transparent and compact surfaces. Judd's art activates spaces, the architecture of the location and the viewer's perception .

In an essay published in 1965 entitled "Specific Objects," Judd also referred to his own works and his intention to use them to create something that was neither painting nor sculpture . He succeeds in bringing space into the picture through cuts and stripes and through the use of "reduced, basic geometric shapes" made from "industrial materials", he creates an aesthetic that is sparse. A work of art should be understood for him as a whole and not as an addition of individual points of view. Clarity, objectivity, order and disorder as well as the renunciation of composition were important, as were material, space, color, volume and light as aspects of daily life.

In 1968 Judd acquired a five-story Manhattan house at 101 Spring Street built in the 1890s. He used the cast iron former textile factory as his studio and as a home for himself and his family. Today it is the seat of the Judd Foundation and can be visited (after a complete renovation in 2013).

Since the 1970s, the artist lived primarily in Marfa , Texas , where he had acquired land and several buildings and, with the help of the Dia Art Foundation , founded the Chinati Foundation museum complex in order to exemplify his work - and that of artist friends - far from the art world present.

In 1990 Judd opened a studio in Cologne . He also wrote for the art newspaper Artforum and is the author of dozens of essays and statements on art, the art business, architecture, as well as social and political issues.

Awards and honors

Exhibitions (selection)

Public collections


  • William C. Agee: Donald Judd: Sculpture / Catalog. Pace Wildenstein Gallery, New York 1995.
  • Julia M. Busch: A Decade of Sculpture: the New Media in the 1960s. The Art Alliance Press, Philadelphia / Associated University Presses, London 1974, ISBN 0-87982-007-1 .
  • Ian Chilvers, John Glaves-Smith (Eds.): Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2009, pp. 350–351.
  • Barbara Haskell: Donald Judd. Whitney Museum of American Art / WW Norton & Co, New York 1988.
  • Donald Judd: Complete Writings, 1975-1986. Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, NL 1986.
  • Donald Judd: architecture. Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster 1989.
  • Donald Judd: Écrits 1963–1990. Daniel Lelong, Paris 1991.
  • Flavin Judd, Caitlin Murray (Eds.): Donald Judd Writings. Judd Foundation and David Zwirner Books, New York 2016, 2017.
  • Flavin Judd, Caitlin Murray (Eds.): Donald Judd Interviews . Judd Foundation and David Zwirner Books, New York 2019.
  • Thomas Köhler: Donald Judd: Architectures and Projects 1968–1994. (Dissertation). Technical University of Darmstadt, 2003.
  • Kasper König (Ed.): Donald Judd: Complete Writings 1959–1975. The Press of Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, Halifax / New York University Press, 1975, 2005; Judd Foundation, New York 2015.
  • Rosalind E. Krauss, Robert Smithson : Donald Judd: Early Fabricated Work. Pace Wildenstein Gallery, New York 1998.
  • Franz Meyer: Donald Judd: Raum Spaces. Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern 1993.
  • David Raskin: Donald Judd. Yale University Press, New Haven / London 2010, ISBN 978-0-300-16276-9 .
  • Nicholas Serota (Ed.): Donald Judd . DuMont, Cologne 2004.
  • Marianne Stockebrand (Ed.): Chinati: The Vision of Donald Judd . Yale University Press, New Haven (Connecticut) 2010; German: Chinati. The Donald Judd Museum . DuMont, Cologne 2010.
  • Marianne Stockebrand, Tamara H. Schenkenberg: Donald Judd: The Multicolored Works. Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St. Louis, 2013.

Exhibition catalogs

Web links

Commons : Donald Judd  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Donald Judd: Specific Objects . In: Flavin Judd, Caitlin Murray (Eds.): Donald Judd Writings . David Zwirner Books, New York 2016, ISBN 978-1-941701-35-5 , pp. 141 (English).
  2. 101 Spring Street , on, accessed June 29, 2020
  3. Now you see him, now not in FAZ from September 29, 2016, page R4
  4. Donald Judd: Complete writings 1959-1975: gallery reviews, book reviews, articles, letters to the editor, reports, statements, complaints . Reprint ed. Artbook | DAP, New York, New York, ISBN 978-1-938922-93-0 (English).
  5. ^ Judd, Flavin, Murray, Caitlin, 1984-: Donald Judd interviews . New York, ISBN 978-1-64423-016-9 .
  6. ^ Pérez, Annie .: Ecrits 1963-1990 . Daniel Lelong éditeur, Paris 2003, ISBN 2-86882-060-3 .
  7. ^ Judd, Donald, 1928-1994 .: Donald Judd: Architecture. Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster 1989, ISBN 3-925047-07-7 .