Donald Judd - Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Friday, May 16, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
    Christies, New York, Contemporary Art Part II, November 10, 1993, lot 367
    Private Collection

  • Catalogue Essay

    Filled with the crisp precision and eloquence that marked much of his oeuvre, Untitled (88-11) from 1988, is an example of one of Donald Judd’s most successful and elegant works. Elaborating on the idea of his rounded, “bullnose,” progressions first formulated in 1964, themselves an evolution of another earlier example of bisected iron pipe set into a box on the floor, Judd first transformed the form from rounded to square. He then determined the spacing of the forms and their equally important paired negative spaces, by following an a priori mathematical formula. The progression of the forms and space follow the XHXHXHX; the solid form and empty space alternate and interact according to this mathematical sequence extending along the horizontal plane, and in designing the form in such a way, Judd transferred the spatial play he had originally conceived of with the pipe on the floor into an altogether new wall form. In utilizing a regular, mathematical formulation, here the XHXHX, Judd was able to make an abstraction phenomenal and thus manifest it now as a sort of material unto itself.

    Conflating rigorous geometric design and an a priori determined mathematical system, Untitled (88-11), 1988, simultaneously conveys the artist’s commitment to spectacular coloration. Asserting its materiality and conceptual rigor, Untitled (88-11) evinces a chromatic resonance in its lustrous surfaces and embedded coloration. Color is the single-most telling aspect of this seminal work, as it is for his entire output. As he himself stated, “It’s best to consider everything as color.” (Judd in Exh. Cat., Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Donald Judd, 1989, p. 94). Judd’s realization that space is not discovered or identified, but rather “made by thought,” catalyzed a new idea about objects and their relationship to abutting surfaces-neither propped by pedestals nor encircled by frames. Having famously sought to abandon any evidence of the authorial hand, Judd nevertheless has created a compelling visual object in its own terms.

  • Artist Biography

    Donald Judd

    American • 1928 - 1994

    Donald Judd came to critical acclaim in the 1960s with his simple, yet revolutionary, three-dimensional floor and wall objects made from new industrial materials, such as anodized aluminum, plywood and Plexiglas, which had no precedent in the visual arts. His oeuvre is characterized by the central constitutive elements of color, material and space. Rejecting the illusionism of painting and seeking an aesthetic freed from metaphorical associations, Judd sought to explore the relationship between art object, viewer and surrounding space with his so-called "specific objects." From the outset of his three-decade-long career, Judd delegated the fabrication to specialized technicians. Though associated with the minimalist movement, Judd did not wish to confine his practice to this categorization.


    Inspired by architecture, the artist also designed and produced his own furniture, predominantly in wood, and eventually hired a diverse team of carpenters late in his career.

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Untitled (88-11)

green anodized aluminum
4 7/8 x 39 7/8 x 8 7/8 in. (12.4 x 101.3 x 22.5 cm.)
Stamped "JO JUDD 88-11 Bernstein Bros. Inc." on the reverse.

$350,000 - 450,000 

Contact Specialist
Amanda Stoffel
Head of Day Sale
+1 212 940 1261

Contemporary Art Day Sale

New York 16 May 2014 11am