Donald Judd - Evening & Day Editions London Wednesday, January 17, 2024 | Phillips

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  • "Serial, minimal, orthogonal and architectural [the woodcuts] stand for beauty, clarity and enlightenment.”
    —Jörg Schellman  

    When Donald Judd first approached the medium of woodcut in 1953, he was initially apprehensive. The messy and physical carving process did not appeal to Judd, as he preferred not working with his hands or manual tools. He found solace in his discovery of birch, a hard wood that can be carved to create defined lines with sharp, clean edges. However, the carving of straight lines in all directions added another element of difficulty, due to the need to cut across the grain. As Judd lacked the tools and knowledge to create these lines, he turned to his father who was skilled in woodworking. In 1963, the father-son duo developed a collaboration for Judd’s first large-scale series of prints. This saw Judd directing the concept and his father, Roy Judd, taking on the physical labour, allowing the artist’s woodcuts to evolve into meticulously rendered rectilinear forms.

    The present lot is defined by sharp boundaries, delineated by clean sections of black, white, and yellow segmenting the work. Judd makes use of positive and negative space, using solid blocks of yellow ink and unprinted paper to build his composition. The result presents an experimental investigation into the possibilities of flat surfaces and the division of pictoral space. In his 1993 essay, “Some Aspects of Color in General and Red and Black in Particular,” Judd asserted “No immediate feeling can be attributed to color. Nothing can be identified…If there were an identifiable feeling to red or to black…[it] would not be useable to me. Color, like material, is what art is made from.” Untitled demonstrates colour as a vehicle for building art, placing emphasis on the formal elements rather than asserting emotion. Judd plays with the concept of space further through the addition of a black oil stripe applied on the glass. The frame becomes as much of the work as the paper, allowing the work to test the borders between print and object.

    • Provenance

      Personal copy of the publisher and part of the Archive of Edition Schellmann since time of publication

    • Literature

      Jörg Schellmann 299
      Jörg Schellmann, ed., Forty Are Better Than One, Munich/New York, 2009, p. 178-179 (no. 30)

    • 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.

      View More Works

Works from the Archive of Edition Schellmann to benefit the Ars Publicata Project


Untitled (S. 299)

Woodcut in yellow, on Japanese paper, the full sheet, with a black oil paint stripe on the inside of the glass of the original galvanized iron frame specified by the artist.
framed 61 x 81 cm (24 x 31 7/8 in.)
With the Judd Estate inkstamp and numbered 23/25 in pencil on the reverse of the sheet, also numbered in black ink on the reverse of the frame (there were also 10 artist's proofs), published by Edition Schellmann, Cologne and New York.

Full Cataloguing

£8,000 - 12,000 

Sold for £25,400

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Rebecca Tooby-Desmond
Specialist, Head of Sale, Editions

Robert Kennan
Head of Editions, Europe

Anne Schneider-Wilson
Senior International Specialist, Editions

Louisa Earl
Associate Specialist, Editions

Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 17 - 18 January 2024