Donald Judd advocated rigorous and deliberate creation without compositional hierarchy or medium classification. His works are neither paintings nor sculptures, and are instead meaningful structures stripped down to their bare...
Donald Judd advocated rigorous and deliberate creation without compositional hierarchy or medium classification. His works are neither paintings nor sculptures, and are instead meaningful structures stripped down to their bare essentials. Judd supported the use of industrial machinery to create his three dimensional works. His geometric forms were manufactured with exactitude, down to their basic construction. In the present lot, Untitled (1968-76), 1968-1976, the cadmium red provides an enriching aesthetic - an updated version of color-field painting. The bright crimson hue stands out in delectable contrast to the neutrality of the wood; the cheeriness of the cherry red against the preciseness of the structure presents viewers with a powerful visual tension.
There are many examples of seriality and diagrammatic forms throughout Judd’s work. While wood is a seemingly basic material, he added grooves that progress and recess –a subtle incremental pattern that moves left to right and vice versa. The repetition of lines combined with the vivid coloration is electric and surprisingly meditative. In describing this series of work, Judd said, “None of the three-dimensional work is meant to look handmade, including the wooden ones which I made in as matter-of-fact a way as I could. Wood being what it is tends to look more manipulated than metal. I kept down the handicraft aspect. Other artists played it up… I like the color and I like the quality of cadmium red light. And then, also, I thought for a color it had the right value for a three-dimensional object. If you paint something black or any dark color, you can’t tell what its edges are like. If you paint it white, it seems small and purist. And the red, other than a gray of that value, seems to be the only color that really makes an object sharp and defines its contours and angles.” (Donald Judd from J. Coplans, “An Interview with Don Judd,” Donald Judd selected works 1960-1991, Japan, 1999, p. 157).
Acquired from the artist, 1976 Private Collection, NY Private Collection, The Netherlands
Donald Judd & Sol LeWitt, The Bonnier Gallery, Miami, March 28 - May 30, 2020