In 1975, Donald Judd asked himself the question, “Why write?” Looking back at his early essays and reviews, he provided one answer: “I wrote criticism as a mercenary and would never have written it otherwise.” He continued, “since there were no set hours and since I could work at home it was a good part-time job.” Despite his insistence on this practical concern, his early writings provide the foundation of a life-long commitment to making and defending claims about art and artists. Judd sustained a robust writing practice, long after ending his career publishing brief reviews for hire.
In his reviews and essays, Judd discussed in detail the work of more than 500 artists showing in New York in the early and mid-1960s, and provided a critical account of this significant era of art in America while addressing the social and political ramifications of art production. His essay “Specific Objects,” first published in 1965, remains central to the analysis of the new art developed in the early 1960s.
Donald Judd: Complete Writings 1959-1975
Published: Halifax, Nova Scotia/New York: Press of the College of Art and Design/New York University Press, 1975, 2005 Judd Foundation, 2015
Donald Judd: Complete Writings: 1975-1986
Published: Eindhoven: Van Abbemuseum, 1987
Donald Judd: Architektur
Published: Münster: Westfälischer Kunstverein, 1989
Donald Judd: Écrits 1963-1990
Published: Paris: Daniel Lelong, 1991
Donald Judd Writings
Published: New York: Judd Foundation and David Zwirner Books, 2016, 2018