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The Pace Gallery Presents Donald Judd: Works in Granite, Cor-ten, Plywood, and Enamel on Aluminum
Donald Judd, Untitled, 1985, enamel on aluminum, 11-3/4" x 59" x 11-3/4" (30 cm x 150 cm x 30 cm). © Donald Judd/ Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Photo: Joerg Lohse/ Courtesy The Pace Gallery.

NEW YORK, N.Y.- The Pace Gallery presents Donald Judd: Works in Granite, Cor-ten, Plywood, and Enamel on Aluminum, featuring thirteen wall and floor pieces from 1978 through 1992. In the final two decades of Judd’s life, the artist introduced a variety of new materials to his work that expanded his possibilities for formal innovation. The exhibition is on view from February 18 through March 26, 2011 at 534 West 25th Street. A catalogue with an entry on each work written by Marianne Stockebrand, Director Emerita of the Chinati Foundation, accompanies the show.

Judd considered material one of the three “main aspects of visual art.” In his articulation of “actual” space and his inventive use of color, he paid particular attention to the selection and fabrication of materials. This exhibition focuses on some of the “lesser known” and, as Stockebrand writes in the catalogue essay, “more unusual materials” that Judd worked with in the later years of his life.

Donald Judd: Works in Granite, Cor-ten, Plywood, and Enamel on Aluminum is the thirteenth exhibition devoted to the artist at The Pace Gallery in a history that spans two decades. The artist worked closely with The Pace Gallery during the final years of his life. Most recently, in 2007, The Pace Gallery mounted the groundbreaking exhibition, Josef Albers / Donald Judd: Form and Color, which paired the theoretical approaches to color and formal structures of these two seminal artists.

This exhibition features a Cor-ten steel floor box measuring 100 x 200 x 200 cm from 1989 and a Cor-ten steel vertical wall work with black Plexiglas from 1991 measuring 300 x 50 x 25 cm (overall installed). Judd began using Cor-ten steel in the 1980s for a small number of large-scale outdoor pieces, and by 1989 would create single and multi-part works with the material. The Cor-ten works are unique in that they are the only works the artist fabricated in Marfa, Texas, his long-term home and aesthetic laboratory. The warm brown color and velvety surface added a new element to his work. Judd once said about the material that for years he had resisted it, thinking of it as “Richard’s [Serra] material, but then I realized it was just a material, and how I would use it would be different from how Richard used it.”

Six wall mounted enamel on aluminum works from 1985 fabricated at Lehni AG (Switzerland), and a work each fabricated at Studer (Switzerland), 1987, and Lascaux Materials Ltd. (New York), 1989, is also on view in this exhibition. Judd’s work with enamel on aluminum greatly expanded his palette of industrial colors, which had previously been restricted to the colors of anodized metal and Plexiglas. The artist began working with enamel on aluminum in 1984, when he had the Lehni factory in Switzerland bend thin sheets of the material—a process previously used to create furniture—for a temporary exhibition outdoor in the Merian Park, outside Basel. Combining a wide range of colors, Judd used the material to create five large-scale floor pieces (including one in the Museum of Modern Art, New York) and horizontal wall works in unique variations of color and size, such as those on view in this exhibition.

An important shift in Judd’s work came in 1972 when he resumed working with plywood (having worked with metal since the mid-1960s). The artist embraced the material for its durable structural qualities, which enabled him to expand the size of his works while avoiding the problem of bending or buckling. Highlights on view in this exhibition include two plywood floor boxes: an Untitled work from 1978 (19 ½ x 45 x 30 ½"), as well as a later example from 1989 (36 x 60 x 60"). The exhibition also features a wall-mounted half-meter (1992) and meter box (1989), both of plywood with red and brown Plexiglas respectively. Like the 1978 plywood floor box, both wall-mounted boxes incorporate diagonal panels—“a more dynamic device” that “conveys a sense of movement,” Stockebrand explains. The diagonal emerged from Judd’s work with plywood and would become entrenched into his formal language, later appearing in his work with other materials. Important examples of Judd’s work in plywood can be found permanently installed at Dia: Beacon.

An Untitled Sierra White granite floor piece from 1978 is also on view. This rare piece is Judd’s only known work in granite. The work measures 49 x 98 x 98". The structure is composed of two vertical slabs that rest on the floor, to which the bottom component is conjoined, and the ceiling of the structure extends to the outer edges of the vertical walls. The piece is one of Judd’s few non site-specific outdoor works, and has had one owner since it was made in the 1970s. This is the first time the work has been included in an exhibition devoted to Judd’s work.

In October 2010, two important texts on the artist and The Chinati Foundation were published: Donald Judd, the first monograph devoted to the artist (Yale University Press), written by David Raskin, professor of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Chinati: The Vision of Donald Judd, the first comprehensive overview of The Chinati Foundation’s history and collection (co-published by Chinati and Yale University Press), written and edited by Marianne Stockebrand, with additional essays by Rudi Fuchs, Thomas Kellein, Nicholas Serota, and Richard Shiff, as well as writings by the artist. The book was designed by Rutger Fuchs, who has designed all of Chinati’s printed materials since the mid-1990s, and also includes photography by Florian Holzherr and Douglas Tuck.

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