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  • Provenance

    Anne Marie Verna, Zurich

  • Catalogue Essay

    That Donald Judd is one of the most innovative post-war American artists is undisputed – his groundbreaking work has changed the course of modern sculpture. According to the artist, “Material, space and colour are the main aspects of visual art” (Dietmar Elger, ed., Donald Judd Colorist, Ostfildern-Ruit, 2000, p. 79). As Untitled demonstrates, Judd has utterly rejected the traditional conceits of sculpture by eschewing any traces of the artist’s hand and using industrial materials.
    Rather than the usual painted aluminium, the work presented here is composed of plywood and Plexiglas – a rare example from his illustrious career. With pristine geometric simplicity, Judd places the emphasis on purity of form, colour and materiality. Indeed, he called his works “specific objects” in order to stress their difference from conventional sculpture. First and foremost, Judd sought autonomy for his constructed objects and the spaces created by them. Notions of scale and order are explored, but it is the relationship between the object, the viewer and the surrounding environment that is central to the work. Judd’s unique vision, as seen here, is more than an investigation of material, space and colour; such a radical approach to art has had lasting influence in contemporary art, architecture and design.

  • 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 (92-4 Ballantine)

Douglas fir plywood and purple plexiglass.
25 x 100 x 25 cm (10 x 39 1/2 x 10 in).

Stamped ‘JUDD/BALLANTINE’ on the reverse.

£200,000 - 300,000 

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

29 June 2010