For me, the work of Donald Judd has a deep emotional impact that is hard to account for since he made, mostly, groups of pristine objects with the simplest shapes possible. Donald Judd was born in 1928 in Excelsior Springs, Missouri and died in 1994 in New York. Exhibit above is on permanent display at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. Image seen here.

Above is slightly different angle of this piece, called “100 untitled works in mill aluminum“. They are installed in two former artillery sheds. Pic from here.

Above is from here. The piece is known as ” real materials existing in real space “.

A variation on the same idea, done in brass in 1965, and seen here

Multi colour, from 1993, up for auction in 2006 for an estimated $2 t0 $3 million. Seen here.

In red, and horizontal, from 1974, it is one of the 35 works put on view at the Simon & Schuster Building in Manhattan that the Judd Foundation was selling in 2006. Story from the NY Times here

One of a series known as Progressions.

After having achieved success as an artist working from a studio in New York, Judd chose to make Marfa Texas his home in 1972. He lived and worked there until he died, purchasing 34o acres of land that was once a military base that he transformed into one of North America’s must-see places for people who love looking at wonderful manmade things. The town is located in south-west Texas on the road from San Antonio to El Paso and is situated on a high plateau of the Chihuahuan Desert.  Pop is 2400. (Pop NYC: 8.3 million)

Marfa changed during the time of Donald Judd’s residence there, and it continues to change. Above pic from a blog called How Judd Gentrified Marfa, found here.

The Prada Marfa did open, but not as an expensive store. It is an art installation (“an experimental art installation, with unopenable door, housing 6 handbags and a gaggle of left-foot heels…god bless you, Marfa”.) Pic from here.

The land, buildings, and much of the work Judd created in Marfa is now managed by the Chinati Foundation.

Marfa’s a long way away from most places, and you might not want to make the trip.  You can find a piece or two of Donald Judd’s work in galleries all over, like the MOMA and the Guggenheim in NYC.  And someone did make a movie called Donald Judd’s Marfa Texas that you might be able to track down.

For me, like a lot of things, I’m just going to have to put it on the list of Things to do Before You Go Blind. Though somehow I think even a blind person would feel the message of Marfa, not that you could ever hope to explain it.

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