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Studio Sunday: Donald Judd

A photo of Donald Judd working on woodcuts in his studio


Donald Judd was born in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, before eventually relocating to New York where he developed his art practice alongside the American abstract expressionist movement. While Judd spent his lifetime stringently denying his classification as a minimalist artist, much of his work follows the formal tenets of minimalism.


In the above photo, Judd can be seen hard at work in his studio, experimenting with woodcut prints. IN the mid-sixties, Judd was faced with such great artistic success that he was able to hire assistants to create the finished products of his artwork, based on drawings the artist would make in his studio.


The artist’s studio space is impressively clean. The large table that Judd is working on holds an impressive amount of drawings and sketches, yet a minimal number of brushes. It looks like Judd may have been working in inks when the photo was taken. Presumably, these sketches would later be sent to fabricators to create Judd’s finished works.


Behind the artist, numerous framed and finished sketches are leaning against the wall, and on wooden shelves. There are even a few empty shelves – a rare sight in a busy artist’s studio. As a whole, this studio seems like an extremely specialized work place, which is in fitting with Judd’s way of working.


Judd was famous during the latter half of his career for a focus on what he called “specific objects” – art objects that could not be classified as either sculptures or paintings because they were planned and fabricated through industrial processes. The artist’s contemporaries include Jasper Johns and Dan Flavin. His works are preserved at the Donald Judd Foundation in Marfa, Texas. 

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About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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