Donald Judd (1928-1994)
Donald Judd (1928-1994)
Donald Judd (1928-1994)
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On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more CONSTRUCTING MINIMALISM: WORKS FROM THE COLLECTION OF MARC AND FRÉDÉRIQUE CORBIAU
Donald Judd (1928-1994)

Untitled (Menziken 87-52)

Details
Donald Judd (1928-1994)
Untitled (Menziken 87-52)
stamped 'DONALD JUDD 87-52 ALUMINIUM AG MENZIKEN' (on the reverse)
anodized aluminium and yellow acrylic sheet
10 x 40 x 10in. (25.5 x 101.6 x 25.5cm.)
Executed in 1987
Provenance
Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.
Galerie 57, Madrid.
Exhibited
Madrid, Galerie 57, Carl Andre, Sol LeWitt, Donald Judd, 1988.
Special notice

On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in lots consigned for sale which may include guaranteeing a minimum price or making an advance to the consignor that is secured solely by consigned property. This is such a lot. This indicates both in cases where Christie's holds the financial interest on its own, and in cases where Christie's has financed all or a part of such interest through a third party. Such third parties generally benefit financially if a guaranteed lot is sold successfully and may incur a loss if the sale is not successful.
On occasion, Christie’s has a direct financial interest in lots consigned for sale, which may include guaranteeing a minimum price or making an advance to the consignor that is secured solely by consigned property. Christie’s may choose to assume this financial risk on its own or may contract with a third party for such third party to assume all or part of this financial risk. When a third party agrees to finance all or part of Christie’s interest in a lot, it takes on all or part of the risk of the lot not being sold, and will be remunerated in exchange for accepting this risk out of Christie’s revenues from the sale, whether or not the third party is a successful bidder. The third party may bid for the lot and may or may not have knowledge of the reserves. Where it does so, and is the successful bidder, the remuneration may be netted against the final purchase price. If the lot is not sold, the third party may incur a loss. Christie’s guarantee of a minimum price for this lot has been fully financed through third parties

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Annemijn van Grimbergen
Annemijn van Grimbergen

Lot Essay

‘Judd’s wall boxes appear as neither low nor high relief in relation to the wall. They avoid relating to the wall as a ground plane, which would be a conventional sculptural effect, a situation analogous to paint within a rectangle set against its fictive ground plane, or “background,” illusionistically. The space of Judd’s boxes is their own’ – R. Shiff

A proud incursion into space, Untitled (Menziken 87-52) (1987) celebrates material, colour and near architectural form. With its distinct and perfect edges and uncompromising corners, the work demands deep and focused attention. Executed just seven years before the artist’s death, Untitled (Menziken 87-52) epitomises Judd’s use of aluminium and Plexiglas, materials whose flawless surfaces heighten the work’s uncanny optical magic. The box is fronted with yellow Plexiglas bisected by an internal aluminium divider, and its right half is halved again by aluminium masking one quarter of the frontal surface: the interior is visible but screened, new areas and spatial relationships coming into sight as the viewer’s position shifts.

Judd amplifies the work’s spatial presence through his materials. With colour contained in its hard, flat plane, the Plexiglas both elides the need for painterly application of colour and creates lived perceptual illusions in its play of tinted translucency and reflection: it is entirely non-referential, instead inflecting and enhancing the work’s own specific, self-justifying presence. Indeed, rather than confounding the viewer, Judd spoke of the medium as demystifying his objects. ‘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 J. Coplans, Don Judd, exh. cat., Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, 1971, pp. 36-7).

As much a polemicist and philosopher as an artist, Judd aimed to create what he called ‘specific objects:’ things in themselves that refused to represent or reference any things in the world, rejecting entirely the illusionistic traditions of Western art. He avoided hierarchy in his compositions, and denied any emotional content to colour. The resulting minimal forms have an astonishingly powerful presence, exploring ideas never before articulated in aesthetic practice. In concert with his uncompromising and hard-edged critical views, Judd’s art aimed to define the very boundaries of what art can express. In works like Untitled (Menziken 87-52), Judd declares with unequivocal power that the observer and the object in space are all that matter: all other things are merely history.

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