Collection 1940s–1970s

Donald Judd. Untitled. 1967 413

Lacquer on galvanized iron, Twelve units, each 9 x 40 x 31" (22.8 x 101.6 x 78.7 cm), installed vertically with 9" (22.8 cm) intervals. Helen Acheson Bequest (by exchange) and gift of Joseph Helman. © 2020 Judd Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Curator, Ann Temkin: What seems ordinary in a sculpture by Donald Judd is far from it. This particular stack is made of galvanized iron, which is the kind of material that you would see normally on the facade of some skyscraper, or those barriers that divide highways, and the colors he would use would be, again, industrial paints.

For him there was no mythology about the beauty of the stroke that came from the hand of the artist. This work, like all of Judd’s work from this time, was made by a fabricator in a shop. Art was a matter-of-fact thing. It wasn’t going to tell you anything about Donald Judd’s soul.

For Judd what mattered was the placement of these pieces, very deliberately sandwiched between walls, floor and ceiling. There is nothing inherently magical about any of these units. This is one of the very important contributions that Judd’s art makes. It’s really about space as much as it is about object.

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