“I like to work back and forth,” Donald Judd said in 1971, speaking to his return to forms first used early on in his work.1 As William Agee wrote, “The rectangular boxes of 1963–1964 have remained at the core of [Judd’s] work. The wooden boxes were low and relatively inert as forms—height was the smallest of their dimensions.”2
Judd had used cadmium red light paint on wood since 1961. As he noted in a 1971 interview:
I thought for a color it had the right value for a three-dimensional object. If you paint something black or any dark color, you can’t tell what its edges are like. If you paint it white, it seems small and purist. And the red, other than a gray of that value, seems to be the only color that really makes an object sharp and defines its contours and angles.3
The form and dimensions of this floor piece are similar to untitled, 1963, a cadmium red light painted floor box with a length of pipe placed in a trough on the top.
1 “Don Judd: An Interview with John Coplans,” in John Coplans, Don Judd, exh. cat. (Pasadena, CA: Pasadena Art Museum, 1971), 44.
2 William C. Agee, “Unit, Series, Site: A Judd Lexicon,” Art in America, May/June 1975, 41.
3 “Don Judd: An Interview with John Coplans,” 25.
Meyer, James. “Reviews: Donald Judd.” Flash Art, November/December 1991, 131 (ill.).
Glimcher, Mildred, ed. Adventures in Art: 40 Years at Pace. New York: PaceWildenstein, 2001, 416 (ill.).
Perrottet, Tony. “The Interior Life of Donald Judd.” Wall Street Journal Magazine, April 2017, 88 (ill.).