March 5, 2015
Artist Donald Judd - New York and Marfa
If you were asked to name your favorite contemporary artists, who would they be? Among mine is the late Donald Judd (1928-1994), an American artist best known for his contributions to the Minimalist movement. Judd focused his art on color, form, industrial materials, and space. He believed that the placement of a piece of art was just as important as the art itself. Many of his permanent installations are found at the Chinati Foundation, a museum he established in Marfa, Texas, and at Donald Judd's homes and studios maintained by Judd Foundation here in New York City and in Marfa.
Last month, I attended a reception at the Judd Foundation, located at 101 Spring Street – a 19th century five-story, cast-iron building in Soho, where Judd lived and worked. It was an eye-opening look at some of Judd’s finest pieces, and the works of other artists Judd admired. As you can see in the photos, Judd was passionate in his placement of everything within the building, and innovative in his approach to design.
The visit to 101 Spring Street reminded me of a 1996 story we did in our flagship magazine, Living, from the grounds of the Chinati Foundation, located on 340-acres of land on the site of the former U-S Army base, Fort D.A. Russell. I was there to attend a dinner party in Judd’s memory – it was a Texas barbecue cooked on a pit designed by Judd himself, and served in a former horse arena he renovated. I included some of the photos from that story here as well.
I hope you enjoy these pictures, and are inspired by the work and life of this great artist.
1 This row of windows is on the 3rd floor of 101 Spring Street. On this floor was Judd's studio, where he spent a lot of time working, thinking, reading and writing.
2 This was Judd's personal desk, with some of his design tools and supplies.
3 Here is Judd's wood burning stove in his 2nd floor kitchen. Judd had a very simple purpose for 101 Spring Street - that it be used for "eating, sleeping, working and installing the work of mine and of others."
4 Here I am in Judd's kitchen in front of his wooden dish drying rack. He was very fond of his large industrial sink.
5 Judd purchased this industrial sink in New York City especially for his home. Many of the items you see on the shelves are how Judd kept them, or the way his children - now on the Board of the Judd Foundation - remember them.
6 This is Jennie Moore, the Director of the Chinati Foundation, the museum Judd established in Marfa, Texas. This event was a reception and talk for Chinati's Robert Irwin Project, an installation expected to be completed next year.
7 This photo was taken through one of the windows at 101 Spring Street.
8 This row of vaulted lights under the cast-iron grates provides light for the Judd Foundation offices located in the building's basement.
9 Here I am looking down through the lights - that's my shoe at the bottom of the image.
10 A couple years after Judd died, I visited the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. This was a horse arena before Judd renovated it and removed the wood floors that exposed the concrete supports you see here. (Photo by Todd Eberle)
11 Here is the outside of the arena Judd renovated. When Judd found it, the arena was worn and dilapidated. (Photo by Todd Eberle).
12 This shows the kitchen at Chinati. Judd designed the furniture in Marfa and had it built out of planks of pine. Notice the very straight lines in his design. (Photo by Todd Eberle).
13 Here, you can see the parallel lines made from the concrete supports on the floor of the arena. It was the setting for a beautiful party planned in Judd's memory. (Photo by Todd Eberle).
14 Here is the Judd designed barbecue pit that was used to cook the meats for the party. (Photo by Todd Eberle).
15 The table was set very simply with white Buffalo china and enamel flatware. (Photo by Todd Eberle).
16 In the back of the arena, you can see the white, paper bag luminarias. Can you find me sitting at the table? (Photo by Todd Eberle).