Audio Transcript for Untitled by Donald Judd

Donald Judd’s Untitled sculpture is characteristic of American art in the 1960s, going radically against European artistic conventions. When he visited Western in early 1981, Judd was already considered one of the foremost artists of the post-war era. As an artist and writer, he challenged traditional practices and attitudes, even to the point of avoiding the word “sculpture,” preferring to call his three-dimensional work “Specific Objects.”

Judd called for a maximum clarity in form and material. He rejected metaphysical speculations and metaphoric references, emphasizing concrete experience. He did not want his work to be ambiguous. While his art has remained extremely disciplined and has contained the same self-imposed limitations since the 1960s, his “boxes” have come to refine the nature and versatility of enclosure. For example, his Untitled work for Western is not just a box. While the exterior panels are perpendicular to the open ends, the interior panels are on the diagonal, thereby creating an unusual sense of space. Judd created a companion piece to Western’s work in the Netherlands but reversed the exterior and interior panels. In Judd’s own words, Western’s commission and installation “went better than most.”