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).
A September 1956 review in the New York Times of Don Judd and Nathan Raisen described “the landscapes of Don Judd” as “more emphatic [than Raisen’s], rendered in schematic, flat symbols of houses, walls, trees and water. The sharp imagery that emerges from these nearly abstract paintings is the result of a firm, clear principle of simplification, which the artist sustains.”1
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.”2 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.”3