Donald Judd: Exhibition Guide: Room 7

Donald Judd Untitled 1972

Donald Judd
Untitled 1972

Presented by the American Fund for the Tate Gallery 1992, Art © Donald Judd Foundation/VAGA, New York and DACS, London 2004

Judd’s growing reputation meant that, by the late 1960s, he was able to experiment with more elaborate materials. His attention to the sensuous qualities of different metals enabled him to create a variety of distinctive works based on apparently similar geometric forms.

The largest work in this room, made in 1969, comprises six cubes of cold-rolled steel lined in a row across the floor of the gallery. The boxes are closed structures, and the sombre gleam of dark grey steel conveys an imposing sense of solidity and weight. The spaces between them are a quarter of the width of each cube, creating a powerful rhythm that dominates the surrounding space.

A copper box, made in 1972, is strikingly different. The box is open, and the interior seems to emanate a red glow. The source of this glow is the aluminium base which has been painted cadmium red. The colour reflects against the bright copper walls, so that light, colour, space and materials combine to create a simple but highly sensuous effect.