Art Journal, College Art Association, New York, Vol. 77, no. 3 Fall 2018

The Power of Inclusion in Donald Judd’s Art: Observations by an Artist, Gail Hastings, pp. 48-62.
Artist’s Project: Space Practising Tools, Gail Hastings, pp. 63-75.

Editorial work involves listening, opening one’s senses to silenced voices, to the quiet whispering at the porous edges of our consciousness. Gail Hastings notes that sometimes artworks seem to be reticent teachers, “muttering a lesson,” which we have to pry out of them. As both an artist and scholar reading the material and spatial in Donald Judd’s sculpture Untitled (DSS 33), Hastings rejects this metaphor, stating …

Rebecca M. Brown, ’In This Issue: Muttering and Listening‘, editorial, Art Journal, College Art Association, New York, Vol. 77, no. 3 Fall 2018.

… with and through Judd’s work and words that “The knowledge we therefore seek of Dss 33’s space cannot be found as a critically apt, well-packaged utterance detachable from the work. It is found, instead, in the reciprocal movement of the work’s self-determination, the ‘living force of its existence,’ forever in process of creating space while perpetually wading through the ‘natural confusion’ of life this embroils.” (A pause, here, to agree whole-heartedly with Hastings’s formulation while reconizing it as, indeed, a well-packaged utterance of the highest calibre, one that does not deliver a didactic lesson.)

Rebecca M. Brown, ’In This Issue: Muttering and Listening‘, editorial, Art Journal, College Art Association, New York, Vol. 77, no. 3 Fall 2018.

 

The Power of Inclusion in Donald Judd’s Art: Observations by an Artist

A dark void is the denouement of . . . two wood panels stained light cadmium red and joined at right angles.1 Each red panel has a small black circle at its center, is of equal height, but of different width. The panels join at a perpendicular that juts toward us. Red sinks behind the surface of the wood, embedded. It saturates, without covering or obscuring the wood. At first, the black circles look to be dense solids against the cadmium red. The blackness is so dense it obliterates any sign of wood grain within each circumference. Then, we see each circle’s black defy the logic of solid pigment. Instead of remaining opaque, the circles empty into a dark vastness of two hollow depths. Spatial illusion, traditionally constructed with pigment, gives way to the inbuilt construction of physical space. Instead of artistry, the circles are black through the everyday unlit emptiness of reality.

See: The Power of Inclusion in Donald Judd’s Art: Observations by an Artist

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