Donald Judd

USA / 1928 - 1994 / / wikipedia
Donald Judd (June 3, 1928 – Feb. 12, 1994); American artist associated with minimalism (a term he nonetheless stridently disavowed). In his work, Judd sought autonomy and clarity for the constructed object and the space created by it, ultimately achieving a rigorously democratic presentation without compositional hierarchy. It created an outpouring of seemingly effervescent works that defied the term "minimalism". Nevertheless, he is generally considered the leading international exponent of "minimalism," and its most important theoretician through such seminal writings as "Specific Objects" (1964).

Judd was born in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. He served in the Army from 1946-47 as an engineer and in 1948 began his studies in philosophy at the College of William and Mary, later transferring to Columbia University School of General Studies. At Columbia, he earned a degree in philosophy and worked towards a master's in art history under Rudolf Wittkower and Meyer Schapiro. At this time he also attended night classes at the Art Students League of New York. He supported himself by writing art criticism for major American art magazines between 1959 and 1965. In 1968 Judd bought a five-story cast-iron building, designed by Nicholas Whyte in 1870, at 101 Spring Street for under $70,000, serving as his New York residence and studio. Over the next 25 years, Judd renovated the building floor by floor, sometimes installing works he purchased or commissioned from other artists.

In the late 1940s, Donald Judd began to practice as a painter....
In the early 1970s, Judd's art increased in scale and complexity...

In his later years, Judd also worked with furniture, design, and architecture. He was careful to distinguish his design practice from his artwork...

He died in Manhattan of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1994. He had homes in Manhattan, Marfa, Texas and Kussnacht am Rigi, Switzerland.
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First Collected by

William Smolen


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