Casa Perez

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Ayala de Chinati
Presidio County, Texas

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Three artworks installed at Casa Perez

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Following his acquisition of Casa Morales, Judd purchased Casa Perez, located directly off of Pinto Canyon Road about 45 miles outside of Marfa in Presidio County.  An adobe structure built in the early 1900s, it was formerly the main house of a goat ranch. The Perez family, after whom Judd named the house, had operated the ranch in the late 1940s.

The two-bedroom house contains furniture designed by Judd as well as antique Mexican furniture. Limited additions to the structures included a storage space and bathhouse, built adjacent to the main house, with a pair of pergolas to provide shade at the front of the house. A concrete trough, which Judd inscribed with the date December 18, 1986, was intended to complement the adjacent dirt walkway with a negative space. Throughout the surrounding land, there are rock gardens and places for growing plants. On the north side of the house, 28 evenly spaced faucets were installed to sustain plants beneath them as part of an irrigation system. At the back of the house, Judd designed platforms to surround the water tank at the base of the windmill, which were intended for sunning and to provide access to the tank for swimming. A fourth platform that was part of the original design was never built. A studio, a livestock pen, and a corral were also planned but never realized.

“I have never built anything on new land. One house is on a bend along an arroyo and by use and carelessness the land around was damaged. The house needed more shade, but putting a larger porch around it would only increase its conventional aspects. Also, unlike the other house, it faced west into the afternoon sun, and it had no relation to the bluff and the hills around it. Finally, I thought that the best thing to do would be to leave the house alone and build new and separate structures for shade, bathing and storage perpendicular to the bluff and to the nearest and highest hill across the arroyo…”
–Donald Judd, 1989