Donald Judd
Untitled, 1956

Oil on canvas
15 5/8 × 22 5/8 × 1 1/8 inches (40.6 × 145.4 × 2.9 cm) (framed)
15 × 22 × 3/4 inches (38.1 × 55.9 × 1.9 cm) (unframed)

1950s 16

The eleven paintings that Donald Judd installed at the Cobb House, including this one, all date from between 1956 and 1958. Judd exhibited paintings from the same period in two shows at the Panoras Gallery in New York, Don Judd and Nathan Raisen (September 4–15, 1956) and Don Judd (June 24–July 6, 1957).

During this period, while painting and exhibiting his work, Judd began graduate work in art history at Columbia University; he matriculated in fall 1957 and completed his coursework in fall 1961. Additionally, Judd studied at the Art Students League with Louis Bosa, Will Barnet, Bernard Klonis, John McPherson, and Louis Bouché.

In her essay in Judd’s 1975 catalogue raisonné, Roberta Smith wrote of the abstract forms in these paintings, “The irregular shapes themselves are difficult to describe and look as if Judd took great care to make them that way.”1 Although Judd stopped painting after 1962, painting informed the rest of his career as an artist: “My thought comes from painting even if I don’t paint.”2

Roberta Smith, “Donald Judd,” in Donald Judd: Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings, Objects, and Wood-Blocks 1960–1974,ed. Brydon Smith. Exh. cat. (Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1975), 8.
“Interview: Kasper König und Donald Judd,” in Donald Judd: Für Josef Albers, exh. cat. (Bottrop: Moderne Galerie Bottrop, 1977), 5. English transcript, Judd Foundation Archives, Marfa, Texas.