Title card for Exceptional Works Donald Judd.
A detail of a work by Donald Judd, called Untitled, dated 1988.

“I’m interested in ideas I can work with, and the stack proved to have a lot of possibilities.”

—Donald Judd

An untitled sculpture by Donald Judd, dated 1988.

Donald Judd

Untitled, 1988
Galvanized steel and green plexiglass
Ten units, each: 9 x 40 x 31 inches (nine installed)
(22.9 x 101.6 x 78.7 cm)

Untitled (1988) exemplifies one of Donald Judd’s signature forms. First developed in 1965, the “stack” demonstrates Judd’s strong interest in color, form, material, and space that established him as one of the most significant American artists of the postwar period.

Executed in galvanized steel and green plexiglass and evenly spaced from floor to ceiling, the ten units are identical in shape and size, with the space between each one incorporated as part of the work. Judd considered the stack among his more important and generative innovations, opening out to a wide range of visual effects. 

A photo of Donald Judd with his work in 1982.

Donald Judd,1982. Photo by Jamie Dearing. © Judd Foundation

Donald Judd,1982. Photo by Jamie Dearing. © Judd Foundation

“The horizontality and the projection are important…. Also the idea of cantilevering: it is like a form cantilevered off the wall, as against a painting that clings to the wall…. I’m also interested in what might be called blank areas, or just plain areas, and what is seen obliquely, like the stack with the plexiglass top and bottom.”

 

—Donald Judd

An installation view of an exhibition titled Judd at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 2020.

Installation view, Judd, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2020. Digital Image © 2020 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo by Jonathan Muzikar

Installation view, Judd, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2020. Digital Image © 2020 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo by Jonathan Muzikar

An installation view of an exhibition titled Judd at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 2020.

Installation view, Judd, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2020. Digital Image © 2020 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo by Jonathan Muzikar

Installation view, Judd, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2020. Digital Image © 2020 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo by Jonathan Muzikar

An installation view of an exhibition titled Donald Judd at David Zwirner, London, in 2013.

Installation view, Donald Judd, David Zwirner, London, 2013

Installation view, Donald Judd, David Zwirner, London, 2013

The present work is a stack composed of bands of galvanized steel wrapped around sheets of green plexiglass. Judd devised this configuration in 1967, and went on to produce numerous variations in color and material. As Marianne Stockebrand notes, “The effect is astonishing: color glows in the interstices and, seen as a whole, the vertical stacks look like gently gleaming columns; yet the actual structures appear so light that the metal bands seem to do no more than contain the color radiating outward.”

A photo of Donald Judd with his work at Whitechapel Gallery, London, in 1970.

Donald Judd in his solo exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery, London, 1970 (detail). Photo by Richard Einzig

Donald Judd in his solo exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery, London, 1970 (detail). Photo by Richard Einzig

A work by Donald Judd, called untitled, dated 1968.

Donald Judd, untitled, 1968, stainless steel and amber plexiglass, ten units, each: 6 × 27 × 24 inches (15.2 × 68.6 × 61 cm). The Art Institute of Chicago

Donald Judd, untitled, 1968, stainless steel and amber plexiglass, ten units, each: 6 × 27 × 24 inches (15.2 × 68.6 × 61 cm). The Art Institute of Chicago

A work by Donald Judd, called untitled, dated 1974.

Donald Judd, untitled, 1974, stainless steel and paint, ten units: 120 x 27 x 24 inches (304.8 x 68.58 x 60.96 cm). San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Donald Judd, untitled, 1974, stainless steel and paint, ten units: 120 x 27 x 24 inches (304.8 x 68.58 x 60.96 cm). San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

“Eager to inhabit this new dimensionality … he was … working first with shapes and negative space and then gradually, over the years, finding generative energy with the square form—reiterating variations of it like a composer does with a fugue, pushing it into different repetitive modes with his stacks and arrangements.”

—Thessaly La Force, “In the Palm of His Hand: Understanding the Silence,” in Donald Judd, Artworks: 1970–1994, 2021

“Color is one of three or four major aspects of my work. I think color is probably the most important aspect of art in this century. It’s the one that’s strongest in keeping the art from turning backward. Everybody wants to turn it backward, and I think the color is the toughest in resistance.”

 

—Donald Judd

 

An installation view of an exhibition titled Donald Judd at Tate Modern, London, in 2004.

Installation view, Donald Judd, Tate Modern, London, 2004. © Tate, London 2017

Installation view, Donald Judd, Tate Modern, London, 2004. © Tate, London 2017

An installation view of works by Donald Judd installed at The Block, at Judd Foundation in Marfa, Texas.

North room, East building, La Mansana de Chinati/The Block, Judd Foundation, Marfa, Texas. Photo by Flavin Judd. © Judd Foundation. From Donald Judd Spaces (Judd Foundation and DelMonico Books/Prestel, 2020)

North room, East building, La Mansana de Chinati/The Block, Judd Foundation, Marfa, Texas. Photo by Flavin Judd. © Judd Foundation. From Donald Judd Spaces (Judd Foundation and DelMonico Books/Prestel, 2020)

“The constant promise of discovery was real for him.… It is only through repetition that the boxes, the progressions, and so forth became their own proof of the initial premise of the strength of this innovative form. These Judds created ‘Judd’ as much as Judd created them.”

—Ann Temkin, 2020

 
 
A scale shot of a work by Donald Judd, called Untitled, dated 1988.

Donald Judd Art © Judd Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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