The late minimalist artist and sculptor Donald Judd, known for his rectilinear sculptures and his compound in Marfa, Texas, also made furniture, which he began designing in the early 1970s to furnish 101 Spring Street, the five-story Soho loft building that he bought in 1968 and is now home to his eponymous foundation.
Crafted from simple materials like wood and metal, Judd’s chairs, tables, and daybeds feature his signature clean lines and have become iconic works in their own right. And now, for the first time ever, the Judd Foundation is releasing a few of his ready-made pieces for purchase.
“Judd’s furniture was born of necessity, but each piece is a dissertation on proportion worthy of a Renaissance master,” Michael Govan, CEO and director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, told WSJ. Magazine. “You could not ask for something more simple—the wood is still the same width as when it came from the lumberyard—but it is transformed by his compositional intelligence. It’s not as abstract as his art, since you actually sit on his chairs, but there is the same beauty.”
Because of these qualities, Judd’s furniture has been in high-demand since his death in 1994. According to the article, it’s a well-kept art world secret that his pieces are, in fact, available for purchase—but only on a strictly made-to-order basis. They take between 12 and 18 weeks to complete: metal pieces are made in Judd’s foundry in Switzerland, while pieces made from wood are typically created by the artist’s favorite California craftsman, Jeff Jamieson.
But for those who don’t have the patience to wait, this new release of ready-made pieces—the Corner Chair (anodized aluminum, $6,900) and Library Stool (pine, $1,900)—can be purchased directly from the inventory starting next month. An exhibition of Judd’s “pre-’94” furniture will go on view at 101 Spring Street in May. A major retrospective of Judd’s work will also open at the Museum of Modern Art in New York later this year. For the full story, head over to WSJ. Magazine.