Donald Judd (1928-1994)
Property from the Collection of Max Palevsky
Donald Judd (1928-1994)

Untitled, 1983 (83-7 LIPPINCOTT)

Donald Judd (1928-1994)
Untitled, 1983 (83-7 LIPPINCOTT)
stamped 'JUDD 83-7 Lippincott' (on the reverse of each unit)
anondized aluminum clear with full divider far right and blue Plexiglas
four units--each: 19½ x 39½ x 19½ in. (50.2 x 100.3 x 50.2 cm.)
Executed in 1983. (4)
Leo Castelli Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the late owner, 1983
A. Betsky, Three California Houses: The Homes of Max Palevsky, New York, 2002, p. 30, 40 and 48 (illustrated in color).

Lot Essay

'It was never a question of whether you liked Judd's work or not; you could not get over it. It would not leave you alone. It gnawed on you. It made you drop dearly held beliefs. It was not 'obvious' art; it didn't look like art. Nevertheless, it insisted on being taken seriously' (R. Serra, 'Donald Judd, 1928-1994', Parkett, June 1994, pp. 176-177).

Executed in two of Donald Judd's signature materials, aluminum and Plexiglas, Untitled, 1983 (83-7 Lippincott) transforms the artist's trademark, enticingly combining interior and exterior, surface and structure. This work's visual rhythms engage the viewer in a very significant way. Four units protrude from the wall, their internal arrangements shifting within their uniform external boundaries. Although Judd introduced certain constants - each rectangular box has the same external dimensions and divides internal space the same way - none of the units is identical. The internal plane's changing angle changes how we perceive volume and space, with the resulting voids also creating shifting perceptions. In this way, Judd adapts the strict seriality that characterizes his early works, while still eschewing traditional composition in favor of a non-hierarchical relationship of elements.

Untitled, 1983 (83-7 Lippincott) results from Judd's much-admired Stacks, and even more directly results from Judd introducing different materials and configurations to develop his basic ideas about form and space. The present lot incorporates blue Plexiglas to enhance the interior box-like forms. Judd liked Plexiglas, he told the curator John Coplans, because it 'was a hard single surface [where] the color is embedded in the material.' Judd continued, 'The use of Plexiglas exposes the interior, so the volume is opened up. It is fairly logical to open it up so the interior can be viewed. It makes it less mysterious, less ambiguous. I'm also interested in what might be called the blank areas, or just the plain areas, and what is seen obliquely, so the color and the plane and the face are somewhat obscure to the front. It's the other way round when seeing the side. In most of my pieces there are no front and no sides - it depends on the viewing position of the observer.' (D. Judd, quoted in Don Judd, exh. cat., Pasadena, 1971, pp. 36-7).

Untitled, 1983 (83-7 Lippincott) fully realizes Judd's fascination with form. He perfectly manifests the push-pull of interior/exterior and front/side. Using the simplest means, the present lot manifests Judd's original and ideological aesthetic, marrying the visual and the elemental.

More from Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale

View All
View All