Cadmium red light oil on wood with violet plexiglass
20 × 48 5/8 × 47 5/8 inches
(50.8 × 123.5 × 121 cm)
This is the first work in three dimensions in which Donald Judd utilized plexiglass, a material that he would use consistently thereafter. Polymethyl methacrylate—sometimes referred to by various brand names, including Plexiglas and Perspex—was first commercialized in the 1930s and used in a variety of applications. Its utility for Judd was that “it has a hard, single surface and the color is embedded in the material”; “At the same time as I was interested in developing plain surfaces,” he said, “I was also interested in developing colors in a strong way.”1 Judd used cadmium red light in a number of works, beginning with his paintings in 1960, whereas purple (or violet), another color he would use frequently, was not incorporated until 1963.
1 “Don Judd: An Interview with John Coplans,” in John Coplans, Don Judd, exh. cat.(Pasadena, CA: Pasadena Art Museum, 1971), 30.
Smith, Brydon, ed. Donald Judd: Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings, Objects, and Wood-Blocks 1960–1974. Exh. cat. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1975, 113 (DSS cat. no. 38).
Haskell, Barbara. Donald Judd. Exh. cat. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1989, 129 (fig. 92).
Donald Judd: Räume / Spaces. Ostfildern: Cantz, 1993, 45 (ill.).
Potts, Alex. The Sculptural Imagination: Figurative, Modernist, Minimalist. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000, 309 (fig. 130).
Bois, Yve-Alain. “Specific Objections: Three Exhibitions.” Artforum, Summer 2004, 198 (ill.), 199.
De Salvo, Donna, ed. Open Systems: Rethinking Art c.1970. Exh. cat. London: Tate Publishing, 2005, 82 (cat. no. 1).
Flückiger, Urs Peter. Donald Judd: Architecture in Marfa, Texas. Basel: Birkhäuser, 2007, 56 (ill.), 73.
Slifkin, Robert. “Donald Judd’s Credibility Gap.” American Art, Summer 2011, 56–57 (ill.), 58, 59, 60.