Donald Judd’s stack sculptures dominate galleries. Columns formed from 10 identical wall-mounted boxes in various metals and Plexiglas, each separated by a space that equals its height, they have always seemed to overpower neighboring artworks, brooking no aesthetic dissent in their rigid serial logic. They’re artworks to be admired at a safe, respectful distance, with some trepidation. But Mnuchin’s latest jewel of a show, which has 10 stacks (the most apparently ever assembled in one place) plus a single-box sculpture, feels like a game changer. Surrounded by such profusion, that initial shock gave way, for me, to the peculiar pleasure of being in an alien art environment, suddenly, newly alive to the stacks’ rich offerings.
After more than 15 years of restoration work, 101 Spring Street, the cast-iron building in Soho where Minimalist artist Donald Judd lived off and on until his death in 1994, will reopen to the public as a museum in June. “We’re a little giddy here,” Rainer Judd, the artist’s daughter, told a group of journalists last Thursday inside the building, where she grew up with her brother Flavin Judd, who was also on hand.
Judd père bought the place in 1968 along with their mother, dancer Julie Finch. It was a big year for him: he had a show at the Whitney, his first child (Flavin, who’s named for the late artist Dan Flavin) and a cactus collection that was becoming a problem. “There was a certain amount of panic about where was the cactus going to go?” Rainer Judd said. They decamped from their cramped Union Square place for the fixer-upper on Spring Street.
Next spring, the Judd Foundation will open the doors to Donald Judd’s former studio at 101 Spring Street, art blog Art Fag City reports today.
Alexander Calder, the Pennsylvania-born sculptor who died in 1976, is, it’s safe to say, one of New York’s, and the world’s, better known artists. One of his famous abstract mobiles turns meditatively near the high ceiling in Terminal 4 at JFK, a balm to weary travelers. A signature stabile sculpture is parked in front of Lincoln Center. And the piece of his that is likely most revered by children, his circus made from tiny puppets constructed out of humble materials like wire, cork and string, just went back on view at the Whitney Museum, complete with a film of the artist manipulating the dolls into action.