Arp to Warhol

19 November 2016

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Donald Judd, 1928-1994

Table Object. 1967.

1967

Multiple sculpture in folded stainless steel. 1967. Signed in pen on the label on the reverse. Numbered 127 from the edition of 200 (plus 25 proofs). Issued for the portfolio 'Ten from Leo Castelli' to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Leo Castelli Gallery, 1967. Published by Tanglewood Press Inc., New York 1967.

Note: Donald Judd was one of the most influential American sculptors of the Minimalist movement. He sought to move sculpture away from the personal ‘hand-touched’ tradition taken from European modernism or the abstract expressionists and to create three-dimensional form which expressed the pure concepts of space, form and inter-relationship without emotion. Using largely industrial materials his sculpture is an art of visual perfection and clarity.

Fine example with the metal surface in unusually pristine condition. Overall: 508 x 610 x 71mm.

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Donald Judd was one of the most influential American sculptors of the Minimalist movement. It is unusual to find small ‘domestic scale’ works by him.

Judd sought to move sculpture away from the personal ‘hand-touched’ tradition taken from European modernism or the abstract expressionists and to create three-dimensional shape which expressed the pure concepts of space, form and inter-relationship without emotion. Using largely industrial materials his sculpture is an art of visual perfection and clarity.

Judd’s earliest work, from the late 1940’s through to the end of the 1950’s, was in painting in an abstract-expressionist style. By the beginning of 1960 the free forms of his earlier figurative themes had given way to abstract shapes, with attention focussed on a minimalist use of angles and straight lines. It was also at the beginning of the 1960’s that Judd decided to abandon painting and focus on three dimensional works.

By 1963 Judd had decided that there were three basic themes to his sculpture – ‘stacks’ (in which a repeated series of varied shapes is stacked one on top of the other), ‘Boxes’ (rectangular forms in which the emphasis is on the space enclosed), and ‘Progressions’ (where it is the sequence of the surface elements which is the focus.) He also decided to use very basic deliberately industrial materials, such as metal, plywood and plexiglass. He then worked on the surface of the materials to concentrate the attention on their intrinsic non-descriptive nature. The idea that his art was essentially the concept, and entirely non-descriptive and non-evocative, illustrated his desire to totally differentiate his ‘sculpture’ from the European tradition.

In ‘Table Object’, which is created with a folded sheet of semi-polished stainless steel, it is the progression of the sections of folded metal, the contrasts of surface in essentially identical elements due to light and visual interpretation, which expresses his artistic message. He created the work to celebrate the epoch-marking ‘new generation’  exhibition at Leo Castelli’s New York gallery in 1967.

 
 
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