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  • Steel box sculpture with internal subdivisions. You can see through it. It sits in the grass.

Untitled

1982
Donald Judd
Corten steel. 7 1/3' h. x 7 1/3' w. x 14 2/3' d.
Photo Credit: 
Rod del Pozo. © 2020 Judd Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

 

 

Donald Judd’s untitled sculpture has been a part of the sculpture collection at Western since 1982 but was removed from campus in 2014 due to serious corrosion. High water table and poor draining at the sculpture’s original site had resulted in long term exposure to moisture and standing water. A conservation plan was developed to save this important sculpture and restoration work started in the fall 2018, made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (MA-30-18-0412-18). The sculpture was returned to campus a year later and placed in a new, drier site by the University’s main entrance. The site matches the old site, being a minimally landscaped grass covered area, and was approved by the Judd Foundation. Back in public view, the sculpture is again available to students, educators and the community at large for enjoyment, research and interpretation.

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In his sculpture Judd has championed a maximum clarity in form and material. He has rejected metaphysical and metaphoric speculations and has tried to emphasize what art can express as true. To him, that truth was accumulated through concrete experiences and perceptual issues. With his ongoing series of boxes, he has established the versatility of such a simple shape. In his work for Western, the exterior sides, as expected, are perpendicular to the open ends; however, the interior panels are on the diagonal, thereby creating an unusual sense of space. He sited the work on the lawn so that his sculpture frames at one end Old Main on the lawn and in the distance the Canadian Coastal Range.

In the seventies, Judd had begun to think more about how his art had similar subject-object relations peculiar to architecture. Yet, if his ''specific object'' could be occupied, was it necessarily a building? By the time he moved from the streets of New York City to the plains of Texas in 1976, he had created a full range of work that had no other concept but the literal space within the hollow-like box itself. Any relation­ ship would have to incorporate ''virtually the whole room or area outdoors. "When he came to Western in 1981, he first proposed a series of architecturally sealed, concrete boxes set one after the other on a knoll parallel to the walkway adjacent to the field track in south campus. He finally decided on one large Cor-ten box with open ends and with interior planes set on the diagonal to the box's perpendicular sides. He cited his Untitled (1982) work on the lawn of Old Main.''

Funding provided by

Gift from the Virginia Wright Fund.

Audio Description

Sculpture Map

 

Western Gallery & sculpture tour on the campus map