Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers are pleased to announce the exhibition of 35 drawings by Donald Judd (1928-94), covering nearly the entire period he made three-dimensional works – after 1964 using an increasingly radical type of delegated fabrication. The show is curated by Peter Ballantine, who since 1969 has specialised in almost all aspects of the artist's work. The drawings were first shown in Sprüth Magers' London gallery in 2012, most for the first time ever.
All 35 of the drawings on display have some connection to Judd's objects. In the earliest ones he is still working out (or rejecting) sculptural ideas he would make himself. Later drawings are Judd's part of the fabrication process, a script or score-like relationship to the work's subsequent 'performance' by others – simultaneously the original of the work and not comparable to the real thing at all. For context (and comparison), the exhibition includes 48 previously unavailable fabricator's shop drawings and related correspondence.
The largest (and most formal) drawings in the show were made after the actual works the drawings document had already been completed, as a kind of guarded-but-quietly-charged 'portraiture'.
Several elements are more 'available' in Judd's drawings than in any of his other works. There is the rare opportunity to see his 'hand' and signature, both otherwise deliberately absent from the objects, for reasons vital to maintaining the hard-fought position he had achieved against symbolic expression. There is also a privileged view into the delicate navigation Judd makes between depiction and anti-depiction – the subtle and not so subtle ways he sabotages pictorial representation while communicating enough (usually pictorial) information to make (or in other cases to record) the object.
In connection with the exhibition in 2012, a catalogue with colour illustrations and a short essay by Peter Ballantine was published by Sprüth Magers Berlin London.
Press release courtesy Sprüth Magers.