100 untitled works in mill aluminum, 1982–1986
At the center of the Chinati Foundation’s permanent collection are 100 untitled works in mill aluminum by Donald Judd installed in two former artillery sheds. The size and scale of the buildings determined the nature of the installation, and Judd adapted the buildings specifically for this purpose. He replaced derelict garage doors with long walls of continuous squared and quartered windows which flood the spaces with light. Judd also added a vaulted roof in galvanized iron on top of the original flat roof, thus doubling the buildings’ height. The semi-circular ends of the roof vaults were to be made of glass.
Each of the 100 works has the same outer dimensions (41 x 51 x 72 inches), although the interior is unique in every piece. The Lippincott Company of Connecticut fabricated the works, which were installed over a four-year period from 1982 through 1986. Funding for the project was provided by the Dia Art Foundation.
15 untitled works in concrete, 1980–1984
The fifteen concrete works by Donald Judd that run along the border of Chinati’s property were the first works to be installed at the museum and were cast and assembled on the site over a four-year period, from 1980 through 1984. The individual units that comprise each work have the same measurements of 2.5 x 2.5 x 5 meters, and are made from concrete slabs that are each 25 centimeters thick. Funding for the project was provided by the Dia Art Foundation.
The Arena, 1980–1987
The Arena was built in the 1930s as a gymnasium for the soldiers at Fort D.A. Russell. After the fort closed in 1946, the gym floor was torn up for the wood, and sand was laid to provide an indoor arena for horses. In the mid-1980s, Judd restored the building, which was largely dilapidated. Judd left the long strips of concrete that had originally supported the wooden floor, and filled the intervening spaces with gravel. For practical considerations, Judd poured a large concrete area by the kitchen at the south end, and a smaller area at the north end of the building’s interior. These two areas comprise half of the total area of the building. Judd also added a sleeping loft and designed the outer courtyard, which includes areas for eating, bathing, and a barbecue. There are two works by David Rabinowitch installed in the building: one on the ground floor (Elliptical Plane in 3 Masses and 4 Scales, 1971–72) and one in the loft (6-Sided Bar, III, 1969).
Donald Judd was born in 1928 in Excelsior Springs, Missouri and died in 1994 in New York. Major retrospectives include: Judd, the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2020); Donald Judd (traveling retrospective), Tate Modern, London, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany and Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland (2004); Flavin, Andre, Judd, National Gallery of Canada, Halifax (2003); Donald Judd: Der gaze Raum – Das Frühwerk 1955–1968, Kunsthalle Bielfeld, Germany (2002); Donald Judd: Colorist (traveling exhibition), Sprengel Museum, Hanover (2000–01); Donald Judd Furniture, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (1993).