Donald Judd

Donald Judd

Introduction of Donald Judd

Donald Judd

The name of Donald Judd is closely linked to the art of minimalism, which was a movement in the mid-1960s, refining the essence of rational thinking of modernism to the extreme. For Jude, sculpture means expressing the specific existence of a work in space. This concept is called ‘specific object’, and although other minimalist artists have also adopted it, Judd can be said to express this concept in the purest way possible by using a square box as his iconic form. Like Warhol, he made them into reusable units using industrial materials and methods.

Unlike Warhol’s soup cans and Marilyn Monroe, Judd’s art works have no external references. His “stacked” works are one of his most famous. Each work consists of a set of identical shallow boxes made of galvanized steel plates, protruding from the wall to form evenly spaced columns of elements. But Jude was once an artist who was equally interested in color and texture. As you can see here, the front of each square box is painted with green body paint. Judd endows Untitled (Stacked) with a delicate elegance and softens its abstract absolutism through the interaction between color and material.

Life and Contexts of Donald Judd


Early life

Donald Judd was born in 1928 into the family of a woodworking company in Missouri. His early life was closely linked to the spirit of craftsmanship, which had a profound impact on his later artistic creations.

art education

Jude studied philosophy and literature at Columbia University, but his artistic interest gradually emerged. He later studied painting at the Woods Hole Academy of Art, paving the way for his artistic career.

Minimalist Art Style

Donald Judd

Specific objects

Jude is one of the representatives of minimalist art, and he pushed this style to its peak. His artistic philosophy is referred to as’ specific objects’, emphasizing the concrete existence of the work rather than its symbolic or abstract meaning. This concept is the core of minimalism.

Box as logo

Jude’s iconic form is a square box. He made the box into repeating units, using industrial materials and methods to highlight the materiality and specificity of the work. These boxes became one of his representative works.

Color and texture

Although Judd is known for his minimalism, he is equally interested in color and texture. He gave his works a unique appearance and texture by using different materials and colors, as seen in “Untitled (Stacked)”.

The impact on art

Transformation of artistic concepts

Jude’s minimalist style subverts traditional artistic concepts, emphasizing the specific existence and material nature of the work. His works encourage audiences to re-examine art and think about the work itself rather than its symbolism or narrative.

Subsequent impacts

Judd’s works had a profound impact on later artists, especially those who pursued minimalism and conceptual art. His ideas and creative methods continue to inspire the development of contemporary art.

Epilogue of Donald Judd

Donald Judd is an outstanding representative of minimalist art, and his works emphasize the specific existence and material nature of art. He pushed minimalism to a new level through the iconic form of a square box, and endowed his works with unique charm in terms of color and texture. His influence is not only limited to the field of art, but also extends to changes in artistic concepts and the way audiences think. Jude’s legacy will continue to inspire artists and audiences, leaving an indelible mark on the art world.

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