Donald Judd (American, 1928-1994)

Currently on View in W404
Image Licensing

Untitled consists of a hollow brass bar and five steel boxes painted Judd's signature cadmium red color. Moving from right to left, the solid forms double in size, until the final one is sixteen times the size of the original unit. The spaces in between the red boxes undergo a similar doubling in size, from left to right.

Untitled belongs to a group of horizontal progressions that Judd initiated in 1964. Judd was a leading figure of the movement called Minimalism, which denied strict emotional or referential contents, and is associated with serial geometric forms. Judd eschewed any evidence of the artist's gesture; Untitled was made by the industrial fabricators, Bernstein Brothers.

Indianapolis Museum of Art: Highlights of the Collection (2005)

Donald Judd was one of the leading figures of Minimalism, a movement of the 1960s concerned with serial geometric abstraction. Untitled is a wall relief that belongs to a group of horizontal ""progressions"" that Judd produced beginning in 1964. Fabricated of industrial metals at Bernstein Brothers in Queens, New York, the work consists of a long, hollow brass bar open at both ends. Below the bar is a sequence of five closed steel boxes painted in Judd's signature pigment, cadmium red light. Judd arranged the row of boxes into a mathematical system of solids and voids. Read from right to left, the solid forms double in size, until the final one is sixteen times the size of the original unit. The voids also double, in the reverse direction, until they are four times the size of the first negative space.

Judd believed, however, that the specific system of proportions used was less important than the fact that he was employing an a priori system. By applying a preexisting formula, and by having the work fabricated in an industrial shop, he strove to eliminate any sign of authorship or subjectivity. Judd wanted the viewer to focus on the thing itself-its clean, streamlined, sharp forms, the repetition of ""one thing after another.""

[T]he idea of content is today mainly a hindrance, a nuisance, a subtle or not so subtle philistinism.
-Writer Susan Sontag, 1964

Object Information

Donald Judd (American, 1928-1994)
creation date
brass and cadmium red light enamel on cold rolled steel
6-1/8 x 138 x 6 in.
accession number
credit line
Morris Goodman Sculpture Fund and Gift of the Alliance of the Indianapolis Museum of Art
© Judd Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS)
Contemporary Art

You May Also Like