Poet, John Yau: I'm John Yao and I'm a poet and art critic, and I write about art.
Here's Judd, it’s very liberating, his work, which is not what I would expect to say. There's something liberating about the fact that he's using industrial materials that are fabricated, boxes, all these, kind of, obvious things and suddenly they become something more.
It's funny, he's called minimalist, but I think he thought expansively. And I think that side of him is not acknowledged enough, that he was an expansive thinker who put limitations to see what he could do, and that he tried to eliminate the personal, all these things. But yet, when he does get into the work there's a kind of feeling. In a way, it's kind of celebratory. It celebrates color just for being what it is, that color.
I think as a society, we're always driven to be productive, meaningful in some way that we can use. And he's saying, “It might be meaningful in a way that you can't just use. Maybe you should just enjoy it. Right?”
Wallace Stevens said “A poem must give pleasure.” I get a lot of pleasure looking at Donald Judd's work. It makes me happy. It changes my mood. How many people can do that?