Open House 2007
Open House 2007 A recap of events.
Open House is a free weekend of art, music, talks, and meals that attracts an international audience of approximately 2,000 people to the small West Texas town of Marfa. This much-anticipated event has become the highlight of the Chinati and Judd Foundation’s yearly activities and a major cultural draw for the entire region. Chinati founder Donald Judd inaugurated Open House in 1986 as an annual tradition that brings together the local community with visitors from across the United States and abroad. Notable features of Open House 2007 were two special exhibitions by David Rabinowitch, an exhibition by Chinati Artist in Resident Michael Krumenacker, a talk with David Adjaye, Trevor Smith, and Andrea Zittel, a special exhibition examining Donald Judd’s Lascaux Series and a free Saturday night concert by the legendary Sonic Youth. Throughout the weekend there was open viewing of Chinati’s collection. Judd Foundation offered open viewing of the Block, Donald Judd’s Marfa residence, installed with Judd works dating from 1962-1978; and the Cobb House and Whyte Building, installed with paintings by Donald Judd dating from 1956-1962 and furniture by Rudolf Schindler. All Open House exhibitions, talks, performances, and meals were free to the public.
The Chinati Foundation
The Chinati Foundation/La Fundación Chinati was created by the artist Donald Judd (1928-1994) as a unique art museum where large-scale works of art or large groups of art by a limited number of artists are installed on a permanent basis according to each artist’s specifications. It was Judd’s goal to bring art, architecture, and the landscape together to form a coherent whole. Originally conceived to exhibit a large number of works by Judd, John Chamberlain, and Dan Flavin, the collection was later expanded to include work by Carl Andre, Ingólfur Arnarrson, Roni Horn, Ilya Kabakov, Richard Long, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, David Rabinowitch, and John Wesley.
Judd Foundation was created in 1996 by Donald Judd’s last will and testament to maintain and preserve his permanently installed living and working spaces in New York and Texas. The Foundation is dedicated to promoting a wider appreciation and understanding of Judd’s artistic legacy by facilitating public access to these spaces and resources and developing scholarly and educational programs.
La Mansana de Chinati/The Block, Donald Judd’s former residence in downtown Marfa was open for public viewing during Open House. The complex of buildings, includes studio spaces, his personal library and installations of the artist’s first freestanding floor pieces and other early works. The Cobb House and Whyte Building was also be open to the public, featuring early paintings by Judd from the 1950s and ’60s and furniture by Rudolf Schindler.
The 2007 Chinati Foundation Open House featured two exhibitions by David Rabinowitch: Fluid Sheet Constructions and Related Drawings, 1963-64 and The Pinto Canyon Group, 1979-1983: Plans, Drawings, and Models. David Rabinowitch has been exhibiting sculptures and drawings internationally since the mid 1960s. Early in his career, he set himself the goal of analyzing the basic building blocks of sculptural form in order to discover “a unique basis from which a fundamental critique of sculpture would follow naturally.” The Fluid Sheet Constructions were created in 1963-64 and made from equally-sized sheets of 28-gauge galvanized iron, each measuring 48 by 96 inches. Rabinowitch piled, bent, and laid the sheets out in different configurations, then bolted them together, creating a variety of rolled, curved, conic, and flat shapes. Placed on the ground, the Fluid Sheet Constructions formed topological studies in which the forces building the sculptures up are counterpoised with the gravity pressing them down. Upon completing the series, the artist disassembled the sculptures and used the iron sheets in other projects. For his exhibition at Chinati, Rabinowitch recreated about a dozen from a much larger group, and show related drawings as well.
The second Rabinowitch exhibition documents a project conceived in conversation with Donald Judd during the late 1970s and early 1980s: a structure to be built in Pinto Canyon, some miles south of the Chinati Foundation. In dialogue with Judd, Rabinowitch conceived of a small, square-shaped building to be made of adobe or brick, with the interior walls themselves serving as the “picture plane.” In order not to interrupt the four walls with a door, Rabinowitch, inspired by the kivas built by the native peoples of the Southwest, designed an underground entrance leading up through the floor of the building. Rabinowitch developed numerous drawings and designs for the building in Pinto Canyon, but the project never advanced beyond the concept stage. The exhibition will include many of the artist’s notes and sketches, as well as newly created models of the project.
Together, the two Rabinowitch exhibitions illuminate little-known aspects of the artist’s career and an even lesser-known moment in Chinati’s history. Both exhibitions will remain on view at Chinati through summer 2008.
David Rabinowitch was born in 1943 in Toronto, Canada. He lives and works in New York and Wiesbaden, Germany. Rabinowitch was be in Marfa for the Open House weekend, and discussed his work in a public conversation with Kenneth Baker, chief art critic of the San Francisco Chronicle, on Saturday afternoon at the Goode-Crowley Theatre.
Donald Judd: The Lascaux Series
Judd Foundation presented a special exhibition that investigates Judd’s 1989 works made at the Lascaux factory in Brooklyn, New York. The first in a series of exhibitions based on source material from Donald Judd’s personal archives, this exhibition presented for the first time working drawings, RAL color charts, fabrication records and studio notes— highlighting some of the archival material currently being preserved and catalogued by the Judd Foundation for future scholarly access.
Saturday, October 6
Architect David Adjaye, writer Trevor Smith, and artist Andrea Zittel presented a conversation about the art and architectural projects of Donald Judd. These three leading practitioners in the fields of art and architecture considered Donald Judd’s philosophies and give personal interpretations of his work and his influence.
David Adjaye was born in 1966 in Dar-Es-Salam, Tanzania and studied at Royal College of Art where he received his MA in Architecture in 1993. He lives and works in London, and is recognized as one of the leading UK architects of his generation. A professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, Adjaye has been named the first Louis Kahn visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania. In June 2000, Adjaye began Adjaye/Associates, with whom he has secured a number of prestigious commissions, diverse in scale, audience, and geography. He has also realized several collaborations with artists (including Chris Ofili and Olafur Eliasson) and exhibition designs, as well as temporary pavilions and private homes in the UK and New York.
Trevor Smith was born in Canada and studied Art History at the University of British Columbia. He is currently the Curator-in-residence at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College. Based in Australia from 1992-2003, Smith worked first at the Biennale of Sydney, and then as Director of the Canberra Contemporary Art Space. From 2003 to 2006, he was a Curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, where he co-curated the widely acclaimed and award winning exhibition, Andrea Zittel: Critical Space. He recently co-curated Wrestle, the inaugural exhibition at the Hessel Museum. This summer, he will present Martin Creed: Feelings, the first large-scale survey of the artist’s work.
Andrea Zittel was born in 1965 in Escondido, California. She received a BFA in painting and sculpture in 1988 from San Diego State University, and an MFA in sculpture in 1990 from the Rhode Island School of Design. Zittel’s sculptures and installations transform life’s necessary activities—such as eating, sleeping, bathing, and socializing—into artful experiments in living. Zittel currently divides her time between A-Z West, located in Joshua Tree, California, and Los Angeles, where she teaches at the University of Southern California. She is a co-organizer of the High Desert Test Sites and is currently organizing two new projects: the A-Z Smockshop in Los Angeles, and an as-yet unnamed campground in the High Desert.
Lannan Foundation Writer in Residence Matthew Zapruder read on Saturday afternoon at the Goode-Crowley Theater. Matthew Zapruder is the author of American Linden (Tupelo Press 2002), and of The Pajamaist(Copper Canyon, 2006). His poems have appeared or are upcoming in The Boston Review, Fence, Alaska Quarterly Review, Open City, Painted Bride Quarterly, Bomb, Jubilat, Harvard Review, The New Republic and The New Yorker. He teaches poetry in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the New School, works as an Editor with Wave Books, and is co-curator of the KGB Monday Night Poetry Reading Series. He lives in New York City.
Saturday Night Dinner and Street Dance
The traditional Saturday night dinner was hosted by the Chinati and Judd Foundations on October 6. For the fourth year in a row, the dinner was held on Highland Avenue in downtown Marfa, with the historic Presidio County Courthouse serving as a backdrop. Dinner, catered by Fort Davis restaurant Cueva de Leon, was be served at 6:30 PM. Mariachi Aguila, from Pecos, Texas, provided musical accompaniment.
Later Saturday night, a free concert by Sonic Youth was held at the Thunderbird Hotel’s newly renovated performance space. In 2006, the Village Voice’s Robert Christgau called Sonic Youth “the best band in the universe.” The band was formed in 1981 on New York’s Lower East Side by guitarists Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo and bassist Kim Gordon; drummer Steve Shelley joined the group in 1986. Moore and Ranaldo had previously performed in the “guitar orchestras” organized by Glenn Branca in the early eighties, and a novel approach to the electric guitar has always been an essential part of the band’s signature sound. The group experiments with unorthodox tunings, layers of overtones, and song forms that veer from punk rants to blasts of atonal dissonance to extended jams to tightly structured three-minute pop tunes. In 2006 Sonic Youth turned 25 and released their 20th album, Rather Ripped. The band tours frequently and played their first dates in China in late 2007, in addition to performing their classic 1988 double-album Daydream Nation (inducted into the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry in 2006) at festivals in Europe. The Sonic Youth concert wass co-sponsored by Ballroom Marfa and the Thunderbird Hotel.
Sunday, October 7
Breakfast and Lunch
On Sunday, October 7, from 10:00 AM-12 Noon, the Chinati Foundation offered breakfast at the museum’s Arena. From 12 Noon-3:00 PM, Judd Foundation hosted a traditional Tex-Mex barbeque at Casa Perez, Donald Judd’s ranch home at the base of Pinto Canyon. Purchased in 1976, this two-bedroom house contains works of art and furniture by Judd, Mexican-style ranch furniture, and artifacts from the artist’s private collection. Located approximately 45 miles south of Marfa on rough and winding Pinto Canyon Road, this remote setting was the artist’s inspiration for his writings about land. Special guests include Sheriff Danny Dominguez and country guitarist Mike Stevens.
Chinati Foundation Members Dinner
On Friday, October 5, the Chinati Foundation hosted a special dinner to benefit the museum, open exclusively to Chinati members. The dinner, catered by Shelley Hudson and Food Company of Dallas, washeld at 7 PM in the Arena, with a preview of the David Rabinowitch exhibitions and a cocktail reception starting at 5:30.
All permanent installations and special exhibitions were open for public viewing on Saturday, October 6 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and on Sunday, October 7 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.