This painting is one of the first works of Donald Judd’s to use a repeating form. Judd regularly used only one or two colors in his work from this period until the 1980s, when he introduced his painted aluminum pieces, of which untitled, 1984, is an early example.

Line figured heavily into Judd’s paintings from 1959 to 1962. Judd utilized a variety of kinds of lines, such intersecting, straight, curved, parallel, repeating, and broken lines, as well as solid lines in white as seen in this work. As Roberta Smith wrote:

In the line paintings Judd explores ways to divide the canvas surface casually yet deliberately and to reduce spatial illusion. In them, thin, irregular lines occur on mono chrome grounds which are scumbled, washed, loosely brushed, or smoothly painted. In all cases, the surface is continuous and emphasized. Like the surfaces, the lines and the configurations vary a great deal from painting to painting.1

1 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), 17.

Selected Bibliography

Smith, Brydon, ed. Donald Judd: Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings, Objects, and Wood-Blocks 1960–1974. Exh. cat. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1975, 18, 103 (DSS cat. no. 16).

Donald Judd:Räume / Spaces. Ostfildern: Cantz, 1993, 69 (ill.).

Meyer, James. Minimalism: Art and Polemics in the Sixties. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001, 32 (fig. 21), 35, 36 (fig. 23).