Donald Judd - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Wednesday, February 13, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Philomene Magers, Cologne

  • Exhibited

    Madrid, Galería Javier López, Donald Judd, 12 November 1998 - 31 January 1999

  • Catalogue Essay

    "A simple box is really a complicated thing.” Donald Judd

    "It isn’t necessary for a work to have a lot of things to look at, to compare, to analyse one by one, to contemplate. The thing as a whole, its quality as a whole, is what is interesting. The main things are alone and are more intense, clear and powerful. They are not diluted by an inherited format, variations of a form, mild contrasts and connecting parts and areas.” (Donald Judd, ‘Specific Objects’, 1964. Arts Yearbook 8 [1965], p. 94; reprinted in Thomas Kellein, Donald Judd: Early Works 1955–1968, exh. cat., New York: D.A.P., 2002)

    Space and colour, working both together and in isolation, are at the heart of Judd’s oeuvre. In Untitled (91-149 Menziken), he uses industrial materials – tinted Plexiglas and brushed aluminium – to construct a coloured space comprising two unequal rectangular expanses of pale blue within a silvery rectangular frame. The result is a ‘specific object’ – a coherent totality much greater than the sum of its parts, embodying an almost metaphysical relationship between its elements of space and colour, metal and plastic. Judd, noted for his ability to divide forms, further heightens the tension between the open and closed volumes with the inclusion of an enclosed, partly hidden space –a motif he has often returned to. Through this resonant play on negative and positive, Judd produces space that is “intrinsically more powerful and specific than paint on a flat surface” (Judd, ‘Specific Objects’, 1964).

  • Artist Biography

    Donald Judd

    American • 1928 - 1994

    Donald Judd came to critical acclaim in the 1960s with his deceptively 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, eschewing any trace of the artist’s hand. Though associated with the minimalist movement, Judd rejected the term and did not wish to confine his practice to this categorization. 

    After moving to Marfa in 1972, he began drawing plans for the Chinati Foundation, an exhibition space which opened in 1986 to showcase his objects as well as the work of other contemporary artists and is still operating today. In 2020, his revolutionary career was celebrated in a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. 

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Untitled (91-149 Menziken)

anodized aluminium and transparent blue plexiglass
25 x 100 x 25 cm (9 7/8 x 39 3/8 x 9 7/8 in)
Engraved 'DONALD JUDD 91-149 ALUMINUM AG MENZIKEN' on the reverse.

£250,000 - 350,000 

Sold for £337,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

14 February 2013