Abstract Critical

Donald Judd and Colour

Written by Sam Cornish

Main Gallery view of Donald Judd: The Multicolored Works, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. Photograph by Florian Holzherr. Art © Judd Foundation. Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Main Gallery view of Donald Judd: The Multicolored Works, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. Photograph by Florian Holzherr. Art © Judd Foundation. Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Here are some installation images from the exhibition ‘Donald Judd: The Multicolored Works’ currently on at The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, St. Louis. The exhibition focuses on Judd’s sculpture from the 1980s, specifically on the multicoloured works he began making in 1984 (from 1960 until 1984 he used a maximum of two colours in a single work).

Donald Judd, Untitled, 1984 Enameled aluminum, 30 x 360 x 30 cm HHW Private Foundation, Vienna, Austria Photograph by Florian Holzherr. Art © Judd Foundation. Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Donald Judd, Untitled, 1984. Enameled aluminum, 30 x 360 x 30 cm. HHW Private Foundation, Vienna, Austria
Photograph by Florian Holzherr. Art © Judd Foundation. Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

In this podcast Tyler Green (of Modern Art Notes) discusses the exhibition with its curator Marianne Stockebrand. Starting with his Marfa studio complex and the technical aspects of this body of work, they move onto Judd’s thoughts on colour and the relation of his work to the history of painting, briefly touching on his attraction to Mondrian, Malevich, Matisse, and, more surprisingly, Rogier van der Weyden. They also explore how Judd approached choosing his colour from the industrial range available (specifically his restriction to of each work to a single tone); his concern with the surface colour of his material; and how his sculptures in general react to, even ‘live in’, light. The key quote is one from Judd himself: ‘I am making three-dimensional work, but my thoughts come out of painting.’ This may be worth thinking about in relation to comments on Judd and illusion made under Anthony Smart’s Brancaster Chronicle.

Entrance Gallery view of Donald Judd: The Multicolored Works, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. Photograph by Florian Holzherr. Art © Judd Foundation. Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Entrance Gallery view of Donald Judd: The Multicolored Works, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. Photograph by Florian Holzherr. Art © Judd Foundation. Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

 

Cube Gallery view of Donald Judd: The Multicolored Works, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. Photograph by Florian Holzherr. Art © Judd Foundation. Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Cube Gallery view of Donald Judd: The Multicolored Works, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. Photograph by Florian Holzherr. Art © Judd Foundation. Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

 

Donald Judd, Untitled, 1985 Enameled aluminum, 30 x 60 x 30 cm Private collection. Courtesy Lia Rumma Gallery, Milan/Naples Photograph by Florian Holzherr. Art © Judd Foundation. Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Donald Judd, Untitled, 1985 Enameled aluminum, 30 x 60 x 30 cm Private collection. Courtesy Lia Rumma Gallery, Milan/Naples. Photograph by Florian Holzherr. Art © Judd Foundation. Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

 

 

 

 

  1. Sam said…

    On twitter Robin Greenwood wrote in relation to this exhibition: “I’m all for interdisciplinary inspiration, but maybe painting is the worst thing you could influence sculpture with?”

    For me the limitation of Judd’s work is not that it draws on both disciplines, which can surely be fruitful (as Robin himself actively looks to Cezanne in his sculpture?). But that Judd draws on a reductive and essentialising concept of both (evident most obviously in what he took from Rogier van der Weyden) – Painting (with capital P) as flat, coloured thing; Sculpture (with capital S) as space occupying object.

    Thoughts?

    • Katrina said…

      Have to disagree. Inspired by this post I just read New Complexities by Judd (ego aside – where he talks about all these issues and which the podcast only flimsily touches upon) which I found revolutionary and exciting especially with regard to colour and the hierarchy of concerns in abstract art – the same re space in the essay Specific Objects. It’s in the title – it’s complex not reductive – he is trying to address the fact that colour is not decoration, symbolic or a means to an end, and also certainly not something that can be stolen or learnt from elsewhere. Colour is there to be found for oneself, perhaps of oneself – it stands for itself. Don’t forget he got rid of the van der Weyden red and replaced it with his ‘own’ red! http://newcomplexity.com/post/3035630628/donald-judd

      • Katrina said…

        Sorry – New Complexity

      • Tania said…

        Just finished New Complexity essay – thought-provoking, v.good….wish I’d read it at art school in fact….yes, its complex that’s for sure (some of the points Judd makes are a bit tortuous!). Is the Specific Objects essay available to read via the internet?

  2. Patrick Jones said…

    Well done Sam for letting us know about this show.I would see this if I wasnt stuck in rainy Devon.I last saw his installation at his house on Prince Street in New York and liked his quiet and contempletive sculpture/ paintings