Archive for October 20, 2012

Artists of the moment…..Minimalist Master Donald Judd…..

The artist was one of the first and foremost practictioners of the Minimalist movement. If you enjoy this artist’s work I find it ( the wall pieces) very similar to the artist Freddy Chandra, the artist of the picture below that is made with acrylic paint on acrylic glass.


Here is a live interview with the artist.

In this clip check out some very large public sculptures done by the artist. The way some rectangles are grouped, it gives the work a feel similar to that of Stonehenge.

The artist was born in Excelsior, Missouri in 1928. He was very important to the minimalist movment and produced a fair amount of furniture in addition to his paintings and sculptures.

He enjoyed breaking things down to individual geometric shapes and when he used color, used a very limited palette. One of the artist’s most popular works was a series he made called dealing with stacks. Judd used metal as well as plexigas for the shapes. To make the works interesting for the viewer, the amount in between the shapes is the same size as the shapes, the positive and negative spaces are equivalent in size. Though he is considered the avant garde of the Minimalist movement, he disliked the term.

Judd also served in the military shortly after the end of second World War. After finishing his army duties he enrolled at William and Mary College studying philosophy. Judd finished his degree at Columbia University. He also took classes at the Art Students League of New York for a total of five years.

He first made a mark on the national art scene by writing critics for the national art magazines. In 1957, he worked as a painter working in an expressionist style. He then progressed to work with woodcuts. He first worked with figures and eventually moved to a very abstract style.

After developing his style of simple shapes and straight lines, the artist improved on his method by using very simplistic materials such asĀ  plywood, concrete, and plexiglass. This material worked great for works on the wall that he referred to as free standing sculptures.

In 1968 Mr. Judd bought a house and studio that included five stories and was made from steel. He used it as a gallery space to display his work, and more importantly to increase the size and vastness of his artwork. This reminded me of when Andy Warhol moved to the Factory, he had so much more space he could conceive of far larger projects and ideas than he ever did before.

The 1970s saw his work increase to the “Stonehenge” size works in which the viewer can walk inside the artwork.

He also designed furniture making his first works in 1973. The first pieces were made of wood and as the artist perfected the technique, they were made from thin metal.

The artist started a museum called the Chinati Foundation. It is located in Marfa, Texas in the very western part of the state. It was once Judd’s house and studio and has a collection of several outdoor works of art made by Judd and other founders of the minimalist movement.

Here is a view of the Chinati Foundation located in Marfa, Texas.

High price range: One of the free standing wall sculptures went for $9.8 million dollars.

Low price range: Works done in marker, woodcuts, and lithographs can be found between $1,500 to $10,000.

The artist won a Guggenheim Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Donald Judd passed away in 1994 at the age of 65 years old.

Try some minimalist work, just to try something different!