Born in 1928, in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, Donald Judd became an acclaimed painter, sculptor, and writer.
His first works, which he later termed ‘half-baked abstractions’, were untitled paintings in which he sought to simplify composition and to eliminate the balancing of forms that he felt characterized post-war European art. From 1959 to 1965, Judd wrote art criticism for American journals such as Arts Magazine, championing fellow New York artists Claes Oldenburg, Frank Stella, John Chamberlain and Dan Flavin. In the early 1960s, he switched from painting to sculpture and started to develop an interest in architecture. Judd challenged the artistic convention of originality by using industrial processes and materials such as steel, concrete, and plywood to create large, hollow Minimalist sculptures.
Judd’s printmaking career began in 1951 with his first lithograph. His prints were often experiments in seriality, and were created in woodcut, etching, and aquatint. His 1961 series of twenty-six prints depicting parallelograms included techniques from printed wooden sculpture to conventional prints, all designed from woodcut printing blocks. For this particular project, Judd’s father served as printer, and the wood blocks themselves were valued as sculpture after their use. By the end of his career, Judd had produced over 300 printed editions.
In 1971, he participated in the Guggenheim International Award exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. He participated in his first Venice Biennale in 1980, and in Documenta, Kassel, in 1982. In 1992, he was elected a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Stockholm, and received a prize from the Stankowski Foundation, Stuttgart.