Opening September 26, 2013, Mnuchin Gallery presents Donald Judd: Stacks. Featuring 10 stacks from four decades, this is the first-ever exhibition devoted to this iconic form in Judd’s oeuvre and the history of modern sculpture. This exhibition coincides with the recent opening of the artist’s home and studio at 101 Spring Street. It will be on view through December 7, 2013.
Judd is known for his geometric explorations of volume, space, and color. In New York in the 1960s, Judd was among the first in a group of artists who challenged notions of subjectivity and pictorial illusionism by creating art from industrial processes and materials. When Judd created his first stack in 1965—an arrangement of identical iron units stretching from floor to ceiling—the work represented a breakthrough in his integration of art and architecture.
The work also fulfilled Judd’s goal of creating real space with sculpture: in this column of alternating solids and voids, the distances between the units became a part of the work, the spaces functioning themselves as open volumes. Here, the artist succeeded in giving ‘nothingness’ a spatial identity.
Judd went on to revisit the stack’s form through the last years of his career, and they now serve as his best-known legacy, represented in the collections of nearly every major museum worldwide. Over the years, Judd experimented with a broad spectrum of materials to explore the myriad effects of varying transparency, opacity, surface, and color. Explains Robert Mnuchin, “Even the most major museum exhibition finds itself unable to focus on a specific moment in an artist’s career no matter how important. Stacks, central to Judd’s career, have not been seen juxtaposed to this degree. We are very proud to present this collection of stacks to the world.”
The exhibition will include 10 stacks of both large and small sizes, spanning from 1968 to 1990, pairing loans from private collections with works available for sale. The earliest stack in the exhibition, Untitled (DSS 120) (1968), represents one of Judd’s earliest uses of Plexiglas in this form, pairing the warm glow of amber Plexiglas with the cool sheen of stainless steel. From a decade later, Untitled (Bernstein 78-69) (1978) turns color into voluptuous shape with its opaque candy red Plexiglas. The bold drama of color culminates in Untitled (Bernstein 88-25) (1988), with its jewel-box like units of violet anodized aluminum.
All images © Judd Foundation. Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY