Donald Judd


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(b Excelsior Springs, Mo., 3 June 1928; d New York, 12 Feb. 1994).

American sculptor, designer, and writer on art, one of the leading exponents of Minimal art. From 1959 to 1965 he earned his living as an art critic, working mainly for Arts Magazine. He began his career as a practising artist as a painter, but in the early 1960s he took up sculpture with heavily textured monochrome reliefs. In 1963 he began making the type of work for which he is best known—arrangements of identical rectangular box-like shapes cantilevered ladder-like from a wall. Initially he worked mainly in wood, but after a successful exhibition at the Green Gallery, New York, in 1963–4 he began having them industrially manufactured in various metals (or sometimes coloured perspex). In 1970 he began making works for the specific space in which they were to be exhibited, and in 1972 he began producing outdoor works. In spite of great financial success, Judd (who was notoriously touchy) disliked the New York ‘art crowd’ and in 1973 moved to Marfa, Texas, where he converted the buildings of an old army base into studios and installation spaces. In the 1980s he began designing furniture in a similar style to his sculptures. His Complete Writings have been published in two volumes (1976 and 1987).

Subjects: Art.

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