Donald Judd


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David Raskin


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This pioneering book, the first monograph devoted to Donald Judd, addresses the whole breadth of Judd’s practices. Drawing on documents found in nearly twenty archives, David Raskin explains why some of Judd’s works of art seem startlingly ephemeral while others remain insistently physical. In the process of answering this previously perplexing question, Raskin traces Judd’s principles from his beginnings as an art critic through his fabulous installations and designs in Marfa, Texas. He discusses Judd’s early important paintings and idiosyncratic red objects, as well as the three-dimensional works that are celebrated throughout the world. He also examines Judd’s commitment to empirical values and his political activism, and concludes by considering the importance of Judd’s example for recent art.

Ultimately, Raskin develops a picture of Judd as never before seen: he shows us an artist who asserted his individuality with spare designs; who found spiritual values in plywood, Plexiglas, and industrial production; who refused to distinguish between thinking and feeling while asserting that science marked the limits of knowledge; who claimed that his art provided intuitions of morality but not a specific set of tenets; and who worked for political causes that were neither left nor right.

David Raskin is professor of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

"Critic David Raskin traces Judd's trajectory from his beginnings as an art critic to the creator of Chinati. Together the two volumes makes for a 'must-have' for any Chinati devotee."—Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Austin American-Statesman

"The book explores Judd's history, politics, and biography in a way that is both fascinating and dense, approachable and abstract—echoing the strangely affecting nature of the work itself." —Cindy Widner, Austin Chronicle

“This volume gives the reader an eloquent and admiring window onto Judd’s own complex set of beliefs.”—Patricia Anderson, The Art Newspaper No 223

"Raskin's monograph is a dense critical commentary on an artist whose work is due for precisely this kind of revisiting."—G. R. Brown, CHOICE

“Besides inspiring new appreciation of Judd’s art, Raskin also gives thorough consideration to Judd’s ideas about community and about effective living – ideas blending a leftist condemnation of war and environmental degradation with arguments for limited government that would win conservative praise on both sides of the pond.”—Janet Stiles Tyson, Cassone

"[A] must-have. . . . Remarkably, the first major monograph devoted to Judd."—Dyal Blog

“Referencing Judd’s writings, interviews, and works as well as those of many art critics, philosophers, scholars, and artists, this generously illustrated book (60 color and 80 monochrome reproductions) featuring creations by Judd and many contemporary artists is well documented, nicely presented, and intellectually stimulating.”—Library Journal

"Yale University Press has released an exploratory book written by David Raskin—itself as handsome and spare as Judd's work—to examine the depth and breadth of Judd's oeuvre."—Australian Art Review

“With this elegant book, Judd’s multicolored works receive the thoughtful attention and recognition they deserve.”—Publishers Weekly
ISBN: 9780300162769
Publication Date: November 23, 2010
220 pages, 8 1/2 x 10 1/2
10 b/w + 110 color illus.