Donald Judd’s painted aluminum works are made of thin sheets of metal bent into a shallow box or “pan,” which were powder coated and enameled using colors from the RAL European Industrial color system. The works are composed of individual units 15 centimeters high, 7.5 centimeters deep, and 30, 60, or 90 centimeters in width. Judd created relationships of colors based on properties such as saturation and value. In a list from February 11, 1984, he noted some of these possible combinations, such as, “All colors, same value / All values, same color / Sharp colors, possible values / Full colors, possible values,” and so on.1

Judd wrote of these works in 1993: “In the sheet aluminum works I wanted to use more and diverse bright colors than before. . . . I wanted all of the colors to be present at once. I didn’t want them to combine. I wanted a multiplicity all at once that I had not known before.”2 In each work, the unique configuration of recessed units activates proportional space on all sides: “Color and space occur together.”3

1Marianne Stockebrand, “‘All colors, same value. All values, same color.’ The Genesis of the Multicolored Works,” in Marianne Stockebrand, ed., Donald Judd: The Multicolored Works (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2014), 35 (fig. 13).
2Donald Judd, “Some Aspects of Color in General and Red and Black in Particular” (1993), in Donald Judd Writings, ed. Flavin Judd and Caitlin Murray (New York: Judd Foundation and David Zwirner Books, 2016), 855.
3Ibid., 850.

Selected Bibliography

Stockebrand, Marianne, ed. Donald Judd: The Multicolored Works. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2014, 70 (ill.), 284 (cat. no. 9).