Donald Judd

Donald Judd (1928, Excelsior Springs, Missouri - 1994, New York) is one of the fathers of minimalism. He trained at the College of William and Mary in Virginia before moving to New York to study philosophy. Having initially focused on painting, in the early 1960s he progressed towards three dimensionality and a simplification of form. Thus began his production of ‘specific objects’: enormous elements without pedestals, made in series, using industrial materials that, arranged within the space, eliminated the concept of composition. From 1964, Judd entrusted the creation of his works third parties, which enabled him to use a wide variety of materials: from stainless steel to plywood. Eliminating all trace of authorship, Judd removed the idea of ‘aura’ from his work, so that object and space have an equal value. Specific objets (1965) is also the title of a famous article by Judd, which, together with the writings of Robert Morris and the exhibition ‘Primary Structures’ (Jewish Museum, 1966), curated by Kynaston McShine, represent the foundation of the minimalist movement.

In 1987, the Van Abbemuseum dedicated a large monographic exhibition to Judd, which was then presented in Düsseldorf, Paris, Barcelona and Turin. The following year, the Whitney Museum in New York also held a retrospective of his work. 1980 marked his first participation in the Venice Biennale. His works were shown at Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi in the exhibitions “In Praise of Doubt” (2011-13) and “Where are We Going?” (2006).