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Donald JUDD Biography

As the most renowned minimalist artist of the 20th century, Donald Judd is most well-known for his stacks, boxes and progressions. Judd studied philosophy and art history at the University of Columbia, while also taking night classes at the Art Student’s League of New York. Between 1959 and 1965, Judd wrote art reviews for a major American art magazine. He held a short-lived show of expressionist paintings in 1957, but found he was more interested in objects, particularly the lines and angles of wood.

 

In the 1960s, Judd started working with simple shapes and materials, creating new objects in their totality. The Whitney Museum of American Art held Judd’s first retrospective in 1968, the same year that Judd bought a five story building in New York to serve as his future residence and studio. He renovated the structure floor-by-floor and would exhibit both temporary and permanent installations. In 1979, Judd bought roughly 340 acres in Marfa, Texas.  The abandoned army buildings on the property opened as a non-profit museum called the Chinati Foundation in 1986. 

The mission of the Chinati Foundation is to exhibit and preserve permanent installations by Judd and his contemporaries as John Chamberlain, Carl Andre and Claus Oldenburg. During the 1980s, Judd traveled to various universities promoting Minimalism and lecturing on theoretical texts. Judd passed away in New York in 1994. The Judd Foundation was established in 1996 to protect his installations in Marfa, Texas and at 101 Spring Street in New York.

 

Judd’s work is featured in various prominent permanent collections as the Museum für angewandte Kunst in Vienna, the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art in Iran, the Hallen für Neue Kunst Schaffhausen in Switzerland, the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich, the Tate Modern and the Tate Britain, the MCA Chicago, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the MoMA, the Dia: Beacon in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C.

Related Categories: Minimalism, Aluminum, Repetition, Art of the 1960s, Post-War American Art, Linear Forms, Abstract Sculpture, Line, Form and Color, Craftsmanship and Design, Hard-Edged