Donald Judd (1928-1994) was one of foremost post-war American artist and a leading figure in the Minimalist Movement. He revolutionized practices and attitudes surrounding art making and exhibiting art, primarily advocating for the permanent installation of works by artists in site specific environments. He realized this vision when he moved to Marfa, Texas, with support of the DIA Foundation to create a place where art and space come together. He is famous for his “stacked” sculptures and repeating geometric forms, as well as prints and furniture. Printmaking was played an important role in his artistic practice, producing mainly woodblock prints lauded for their composition, form, and color. Mary Ryan Gallery held a solo exhibition of Judd’s work, titled “Donald Judd: Reliefs and Multiples” in 2007.
Born in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, the artist served in the United States Army from June 1946 until November 1947, then attended The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia; the Art Students League, New York; and Columbia University, New York, where he received a B.S. in Philosophy, cum laude, in 1953.
Judd’s first New York solo exhibition was in 1957, the same year he began graduate studies at Columbia University. Over the next decade, Judd worked as a critic for ARTnews, Arts Magazine, and Art International.
Beginning in the 1960s, Judd exhibited regularly and widely at galleries in New York as well as across the U.S., Europe, and Japan. During his lifetime, major exhibitions of Judd’s work occurred at The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1968, 1988); The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (1975); Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (1987); and The Saint Louis Art Museum (1991), among other museum exhibitions. More recent exhibitions have taken place at The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, Japan (1999) and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2001). The Tate Modern held a major retrospective of Judd’s work in 2004. In 2013, the Judd Foundation converted the artist’s Spring Street residence into a museum, focusing on his art and life.
Judd received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Swedish Institute, and the John Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, among others. Judd moved to Marfa, Texas, in 1972, where he would live and work until his death.