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Donald Judd Prints

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“Somewhere a portion of contemporary art has to exist as an example of what the art and its context were meant to be”- Donald Judd.

This American minimalist artist was born in 1928 in Missouri. He was an engineer in the army for few years. After that he was a Philosophy student. Donald Judd was an expressionist and his first exhibition was in 1957. After that he graduated and received his Master’s in art history from Columbia.

Contemporary art and Renaissance were his majors. He also taught at several institutions every now and then. He worked as a writer/critic for an American art magazine, to support his finances for the making of his art works. Since 1960, he had several exhibitions all over the world. He married and settled with his wife and two children in New York where he had his studio.

According to Judd, idea and art are inseparable and this is evident from the overall coherence and completeness seen in all his works. His concrete and definitive writings were on par with his advanced sculptures. 1960’s was a period that saw him as a main spokesman for minimalists. His works were also appreciated for its reflection of the combination of an artist’s point of view and that of an art thinker and critic.

Judd’s career as art maker started in the late 1950’s, as a painter, when the art world was dominated by Abstract Expressionism. Judd’s work in three dimensions began as an attempt to eliminate spatial illusions in the paintings. Trying to translate support and field into real space, he started working with boxes, a trademark form in several of his works. Initially, industrial pigments were being used in Judd's paintings. He later slowly switched to the use of metal. He started his extensive outdoor pieces which were site-specific by around 1970.

Judd always felt that what is important is the whole, than the parts. His works always maintain their aesthetic purpose. His whole idea was to make things that stood by themselves and did not call attention to anything but their appearance. His works have often also been labelled literalist. Differing from usual sculptures that stood on a base, Judd’s sculptures were placed directly on the floor to give the viewer their own perspective. He wanted to reduce the space between the viewer and the art form and thus when it was placed on the floor, according to him, made the viewer feel more connected to the structure. He felt that this made the viewer look at the art form as part of the surrounding environment than as a separate entity.

Judd’s work had unbiased factory elegance thanks to his use of Plexiglas, steel, plastic and iron. This also made him stand out from other Abstract Expressionists. Most of his works consisted of hollow boxes of copper or steel having a bright colored enameled interiors placed on the floor.

Just like his sculptures carved a niche for him in the world of modern art, his writings, till date, are considered unique pieces of Minimalist Art statements. Donald Judd died in February of 1994, in Manhattan, New York City.

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