‘A good chair is a good chair’

The German Die Neue Sammlung shows the little-known furniture designer face of Donald Judd

Munich, 07/18/11

The American Donald Judd (1928-1994) is considered one of the most important artists of the 20th century. His fame in the decade of 1960 as the bearer of Minimal Art created an almost mystic vision of his work, detaching it from all utility due to trivial excess. Nevertheless, Judd dedicated a facet of his work to architectonic design and furnishing and is still unnoticed today. For the first time Die Neue Sammlung (Museo Internacional de Diseño de Múnich) dedicates a monographic exhibition to this subject.

A Good Chair is a Good Chair introduces us to new articles produced in small quantities made in wood and metal along with prototypes and attempts that Judd himself conceived for his use and enjoyment. Objects that have rarely been exhibited away from its original location: the artist’s home (first in New York and later in Marfa, Texas). In fact, it was in Marfa where Judd worked with a major dedication in furniture design. The need to cover tables, chairs and a bed in that new space and the express desire of the artist of making his the intimate space was the genesis of some of these pieces.

The first element he conceived was his children’s bed, made with boards from pine trees. Further on, he hired the services of a local carpenter to produce the designs of his furniture, with the demand and dedication required by his specificities. After these works, he chose metal. Using layers of aluminium he made a series of his designs in different colors, this time with a less limited mood but always the characteristic imprint of Judd. With A Good Chair is Good Chair, Die Neue Sammlung continues the line of work that defines his museographer character: coincidences, differences and interactions between art and design. Until October 9th in Munich. Alejandro Martínez and Ana Rodríguez-Andía

  • Donald Judd. A good chair is a good chair1978. Fabricated by Celedonio Mediano, Texas. Courtesy Judd Foundation. Photo: Stuart Whipps, Donald Judd Furniture. © Judd Foundation.

     

  • Donald Judd. Stool. 1992. Die Neue Sammlung - The International Design Museum Munich. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung - The International Design Museum Munich (A. Laurenzo) Donald Judd Furniture. © Judd Foundation.

  • Donald Judd. A good chair is a good chair. Main Library at La Mansana de Chinati/The Block. Courtesy of Judd Foundation. Photo: Judd Foundation Archive, Donald Judd Furniture. © Judd Foundation.

  • Donald JuddA good chair is a good chair. 1989. Hersteller Beola Crafts Limited, Co. Galway, Irland. Courtesy Judd Foundation. Photo: Maurice Alejo, Donald Judd Furniture. © Judd Foundation.

Donald Judd. A good chair is a good chair1978. Fabricated by Celedonio Mediano, Texas. Courtesy Judd Foundation. Photo: Stuart Whipps, Donald Judd Furniture. © Judd Foundation.