The Writings of Donald Judd
A symposium hosted by the Chinati Foundation, May 3-4, 2008

Listen live on Marfa Public Radio.

The Chinati Foundation is pleased to announce a symposium dedicated to the writings of the late artist and museum founder Donald Judd. The symposium will offer a diverse range of presentations and subjects. Among the topics to be considered will be the relationship of Judd's writings to his art; his use of language and syntax; Judd's political views; how Judd produced and edited his essays; and Judd's art criticism and its relevance today. The weekend program will be moderated by Richard Shiff (Director of the Center for the Study of Modernism at the University of Texas, Austin) and will feature the following lectures:

Allan Antliff, Ph.D., Canada Research Chair in Art History, University of Victoria, Canada: Donald Judd's "First Element": An Anarchist Genealogy
Mel Bochner, Artist and Critic, New York: Judd: His Writing and Influence
Richard Ford, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus and Former Chairman, Department of Languages and Linguistics, The University of Texas at El Paso: Donald Judd- Wordsmith
Thomas Kellein, Ph.D., Director, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany: Basic Assumptions
David Rabinowitch, Artist, New York and Wiesbaden, Germany: Statements Relevant to Don Judd's Notion of "Object"
David Raskin, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Art History, Theory and Criticism, School of the Art Institute of Chicago: Judd's Scale
Richard Schiff, Director of the Center for the Study of Modernism at the University of Texas, Austin: Specificity
Roberta Smith, Art Critic, The New York Times: Specific Objects: the Essay, the Art, the Misunderstanding
Karen Stein, Architectural Critic, New York: The Plain Beauty of Well-Made Things
Ann Temkin, Ph.D., Curator, Museum of Modern of Art, New York: Barnett Newman and Donald Judd: Artist as Polemicist
Nicola von Velsen, Editor, DuMont Literatur- und Kunstverlag, Cologne: Bilderstreit: Iconoclastic Controversy and Language Battles

Limited seats are still available for the weekend program; reservations can be made by calling Chinati at (432) 729-4362. Portions of the symposium will be broadcast live by Marfa Public Radio (KRTS) at 93.5FM and over the internet at

The Writings of Donald Judd is the fifth symposium organized by the Chinati Foundation, following Art and the Landscape (1995), Art and Architecture (1998), Light in Architecture and Art: The Work of Dan Flavin (2001), and It?s All in the Fit: The Work of John Chamberlain (2006). It will be documented in a paperback volume to be published by the museum later in the year.

$150 per person/$100 Chinati members and students with valid ID.
Fee includes all lectures and a dinner in Chinati's Arena on Saturday night.

Selections of the Chinati Foundation art installations will be accessible during a private viewing for symposium participants prior to the Saturday night dinner.

Please register no later than 1 April, 2008.
To register, send check with your full name and address payable to
P.O. Box 1135
Marfa, Texas 79843

Donald Judd's Writings

Donald Judd began writing on art and related matters in 1959 when he accepted a job as an art critic for the magazines Arts, Arts Magazine, and later Art International. He stopped reviewing regularly in 1965 but continued to write throughout his life on a broad range of subjects. His writings were first collectively published in 1975 by the Press of Nova Scotia College of Art and Design under the title, Donald Judd: Complete Writings 1959-1975. The book has been out of print for many years, but was reprinted in 2006 by the same press. In his reviews and essays, Judd discussed in detail the work of more than 500 artists showing in New York in the early and mid-1960s, and provided a critical account of this significant era of art in America. While addressing the social and political ramifications of art production, the writings frequently addressed the work of such artists as Jackson Pollock, Kasimir Malevich, Barnett Newman, Ad Reinhardt, Lee Bontecou, Yayoi Kusama, John Chamberlain, Larry Poons, Kenneth Noland, and Claes Oldenburg, to whom Judd felt particularly drawn. His essay "Specific Objects, first published in the summer of 1965, constitutes a radical redefinition of sculptural practice, and remains central to the analysis of the new art developed in the early/mid-1960s.

A second collection of Judd's prose, Collected Writings 1975-1986, was published by the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands in 1986 (the book is now out of print), while his subsequent essays were individually published in a number of catalogues and journals. As of the 1970s, Judd's essays focused less on individual artists, but instead looked at art in the larger cultural context- its economy and politics and their interrelated dynamics. His essays may be considered witnesses of their time; they are highly critical and sharp in tone, and can now, decades later, be measured against the actual history.

Donald Judd's art is well known and in recent years has been presented in expertly curated exhibitions—among them his early work at Kunsthalle Bielefeld in 2002 (traveling to the Menil Collection, Houston) and a retrospective at Tate Modern, London, in 2004 (traveling to Düsseldorf and Basel). Judd's writings, however, have remained largely unknown, despite his prolific output over a period of more than thirty years. In addition, only a few of his essays were translated into other languages (mostly German, French, and Swedish) preventing a broader perception abroad. The reprinting of Complete Writings 1959-1975 in 2006 offered Judd's essays and reviews to a greater public once again, thus making a symposium on this subject a timely endeavor.


Alan Antliff is Canada Research Chair in Art History, University of Victoria, Canada, where he teaches courses in the history of avant-garde visual art of the 20th century. Antliff is the author of Art and Anarchy: From the Paris Commune to the Fall of the Berlin Wall (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2007); Anarchist Modernism: Art, Politics, and the First American Avant-Garde (University of Chicago Press, 2001); and the editor of Only a Beginning: An Anarchist Anthology (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2004).

Mel Bochner is an artist who has been exhibiting his work internationally since the mid-1960s. His 1966 exhibition at the School of Visual Arts in New York, Working Drawings and Other Visible Things on Paper Not Necessarily Meant to Be Viewed, is regarded as a seminal moment in the origins of the Conceptual Art movement. Bochner makes works in a variety of media including painting, sculpture, performance, and photography. Bochner teaches at the Yale School of Art, and is also a well-known writer: a collection of his writings on art and writings as art, Solar Systems & Rest Rooms, will be published by the MIT Press in May 2008.

Richard Ford is Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas at El Paso, where he taught in the Department of Languages and Linguistics for thirty years. In 1990 he assumed charge of UTEP's translation program, developing curriculum and overseeing translator certification until his retirement in December 2004. Since 1995 he has translated into Spanish the contents (including many Judd writings) of the annual Chinati Foundation newsletter, which is published bilingually.

Thomas Kellein is Director of the Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany, where he curated Donald Judd - Early Work 1955 - 1968 and published the related catalogue. He has curated international exhibitions for many years and is the author of numerous books and essays on artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Casper David Friedrich, Roni Horn, Clyfford Still, Alvar Aalto, George Maciunas, among others.

David Rabinowitch is an artist who has been exhibiting sculptures and drawings for over forty years. Two exhibitions of his work, Fluid Sheet Constructions and Related Drawings, 1963-64 and The Pinto Canyon Group, 1979-1983: Plans, Drawings, and Models are currently on view at the Chinati Foundation. Other recent exhibitions include: David Rabinowitch, Akira Ikeda Gallery, Berlin (2004-05); David Rabinowitch, National Gallery of Canada and Musee des Beaux-Arts du Canada, Ottawa, Ontario (2004); and David Rabinowitch, Musee d'Art Contemporain de Montreal, Quebec, Canada (2003).

David Raskin is Associate Professor of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is co-author of Donald Judd, the catalogue published by Tate Modern to coincide with its Judd retrospective in 2004. Raskin has also written essays about Judd for Art History and New Art Examiner and is co-author of Midwestern Unlike You and Me: New Zealand's Julian Dashper (Sioux City Art Center, 2005).

Dr. Richard Shiff (Moderator) holds the Effie Marie Cain Regents Chair in Art and directs the Center for the Study of Modernism at the University of Texas, Austin. His scholarly interests range broadly across the field of modern art from the early 19th century to the present, with an emphasis on French painting and post-war American and European art. Shiff has written extensively on the work of Donald Judd and contributed an essay to the catalogue accompanying the Judd retrospective at Tate Modern in 2004. He recently published a short book on art and criticism with the title Doubt (Routledge), and is currently at work on two other books: an interpretive account of Willem de Kooning?s work (Reaktion), and a collection of previously published essays for University of Chicago Press. Shiff is a member of Chinati?s Board of Directors.

Roberta Smith is senior art critic for The New York Times, where she began writing in 1986; previously she was an art critic for the Village Voice, Arts, Artforum, Art in America, Newsweek, and Vogue. In the mid to late 1960s she was an assistant to Donald Judd and wrote the featured essay in the Judd catalogue raisonné published by the National Gallery of Canada in 1975. In 2003 the College Art Association honored Smith with the Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism.

Karen Stein is a writer, editor, and architectural consultant. From 1998 until 2007, she was Editorial Director of Phaidon Press, the publisher of books on the arts. She joined the London-based Phaidon to establish a New York office and editorial program following fourteen years at Architectural Record magazine, most recently as Senior Managing Editor. She has been a member of the jury of the Pritzker Architecture Prize since 2004 and also currently serves as board member of the Architectural League of New York and as a co-chair of the Architecture and Design Circle of the Museum of Modern Art.

Ann Temkin is a curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Before joining MoMa, she was the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where she organized exhibitions on Barnett Newman (2002), Alice Neel (2000-01), Raymond Pettibon (1998-99), Constantin Brancusi (1995), and Josef Beuys (1993). Temkin has lectured and written extensively about modern and contemporary art. She wrote about the conservation of Donald Judd's art for the Summer 2004 issue of Artforum.

Nicola von Velsen is Editor of DuMont Literatur- und Kunstverlag in Cologne, a distinguished German publisher of books on art and literature.

The Writings of Donald Judd symposium is supported by generous contributions from Donna and Howard Stone, LLWW Foundation, the Marfa Chamber of Commerce, the Terra Foundation for American Art, and PaceWildenstein.

Additional Information
The Writings of Donald Judd symposium will take place at the AmVets Building on Highway 67 South in Marfa, Texas beginning Saturday, May 3 at 9:00 AM, ending Sunday in the late afternoon.

The closest major airports to Marfa are located in El Paso and Midland/Odessa. Marfa is approximately 200 miles from both cities. Major car rental agencies are located at both airports. For information regarding travel and accommodations, please call
Marfa Chamber of Commerce at 432.729.4942
Alpine Chamber of Commerce at 432.837.2326
or the Fort Davis Chamber of Commerce at 432.426.3015.

Chinati organizes symposia approximately every two to three years on topics related to the museum's permanent collection and Donald Judd's interests as manifested in Marfa. The museum has presented four previous symposia: Art and the Landscape (1995), Art and Architecture (1998), Light in Architecture and Art: The Work of Dan Flavin (2001), and It's All in the Fit: The Work of John Chamberlain (2006).

Chinati Foundation Collection
Chinati's collection will be open for viewing during the weekend of the Judd Writings symposium, including Donald Judd's untitled 15 outdoor works in concrete (1980-84) and two former artillery shed housing his 100 works in mill aluminum (1982-86).

For more information, please call the museum at 432.729.4362.