December 02, 2020

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DONALD JUDD. Furniture and Prints at the Elvira Gonzalez Gallery

DONALD JUDD. Furniture and Prints at the Elvira Gonzalez Gallery

As of  April 6th, Galería Elvira González in Madrid will present an exhibition of furniture and prints created by Donald Judd, key figure in the art of the United States in the 20th century.

The exhibition will include prints, wood furniture and steel furniture, offering a glimpse of Judd’s vast productivity.In addition to his art works, Donald Judd was a prolific draftsman and printmaker.

In the artist’s own words, “the configuration and the scale of art can be transposed into furniture or architecture. The intent of art is different from that of the latter, which must be functional. If a chair or a building is not functional, if it appears t o be only art, it is ridiculous.”

The exhibition’s selection of painted metal furniture — a technique that is characteristic of much of Judd’s work — displays Judd’s method of constructing and executing his well – known colored boxes with visible screw – he ads and industrial paint. At the same time, the fact that the furniture pieces are produced in unlimited editions makes clear the industrial nature of Judd’s designs. Judd’s wood furniture, on the other hand, belongs to an authentically American aspect of his work, showing a clear influence of American folk furniture, as well of Shaker furniture that was created by the religious groups that established themselves in the United States in the 19th century. Judd’s earliest furniture was designed for his own personal use. The prints that accompany the furniture in the exhibition are colored plates in which the artist employs repeating forms. Color and the types of lines are the only variables.

Donald Judd (Missouri, 1928 – New York, 1994) earned an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Columbia University. He began his artistic career as a painter, working in an expressionist style, and later began to focus on woodcuts. His work evolved from figuration into abstraction, while always placing more importance on line and concise forms than on gesture. In his work, Judd always sought to make his forms, as well as the space they commanded, clear and autonomous. He gave up painting in the early 60’s and began (particularly as of 1964) using industrial processes to create works that he himself referred to as “specific objects,” rejecting the term “sculpture” because of its art historical connotations. His passion for architecture, space and how it can be inhabited led him to design furniture; intended for his own personal use, today Judd’s furniture is highly regarded and influential among furniture designers. In 1968 Judd moved his studio to Soho, purchasing a five – story cast – iron building that had been designed in 1870 by Nicholas Whyte. Judd renovated and redecorated the building over the years, often installing artworks by other artists that he had acquired. Judd always sought optimum settings in which to install his work, and in 1986 he created the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas.

Today the foundation houses large – scale works by Judd and by his friends and artistic colleagues which are permanently installed in renovated hangars located in the desert. From the early 60’s on, Judd exhibited regularly and extensively at galleries in New York as well as across the U.S., Europe and Japan. Major exhibitions of Judd’s work during his lifetime were held at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1968, 1988); the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa (1975); the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, (1987); and the Saint Louis Art Museum (1991), among other museum exhibitions. More recent exhibitions have been held at the Museum of Modern Art in Saitama, Japan (1999); the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2001); the Tate Modern, London (2004); the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis, Missouri (2014 – 2014), among others. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York has announced a large – scale retrospective of Judd’s work scheduled for autumn 2017

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