157-166 Untitled

Donald Judd


Print, 10 x (60 x 84 cm).
Materials: glass, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. BK7213_M220A_J).

Donald Judd  (1928–1994, US) studies painting and philosophy and makes a great impact on post-war art as a sculptor, printmaker and critic as a front figure and chief ideologue of Minimal Art. In his essay 'Specific Objects' from 1965 Judd describes the art of the 1960s as neither sculpture nor painting. His later works, industrially manufactured box structures of wood or metal, demonstrate the same tension between the two art forms. He famously denies that his own work is composed and analysable, claiming that it came to him ‘full-blown in the middle of the night’. A very essentialist position!

Untitled is a series of ten red woodcuts from 1988 – a prime example of the rigidly geometric, taut aesthetic which had first won Donald Judd international acclaim as one of the founding fathers of American minimal art in the mid-sixties. The woodcuts operate as two-dimensional representations of Judd’s much better known, groundbreaking forays into sculpture, articulating one of Minimalism’s many ambiguities – the programmatic tension between artisanal modes of production on the one hand, and industrialized mass production on the other. The grid-like presentation of Judd’s prints echo the primacy of rhythm in the spatial art of all minimalist sculpture, which has not been named ‘theatrical’ for no good reason.

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