New York City
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Museum of Modern Art, 9:00 AM–1:00 PM
Saturday, April 29, 2017
Crowley Theater, 9:00 AM–1:00 PM
The Chinati Foundation is pleased to announce a new master plan developed in collaboration with the design and planning firm Sasaki and a two-part symposium to present it to the public. The plan encompasses the conservation, restoration, maintenance, and long-term development of the museum and its permanent collection and programs in accordance with the principles of artist Donald Judd.
Judd began implementing his concept of a singular place for contemporary art in the late 1970s with initial funding from the Dia Art Foundation. He established it as an independent organization—the Chinati Foundation—in 1986. The complex is comprised of 34 former army buildings spread across 340 acres of the decommisioned Fort D.A. Russell, as well as additional industrial structures downtown, in the small town of Marfa in remote West Texas. Judd’s original vision for the museum entailed large, permanently installed works or groups of works by three artists: himself, Dan Flavin, and John Chamberlain. Over the years, the collection was expanded to include work by additional artists, thoughtfully installed in dialogue with the buildings and land. Chinati was conceived and developed as an alternative to more traditional museums. In a 1977 essay Judd set forth the principles that would guide Chinati’s evolution: “The installation of my work and of others is contemporary with its creation. The work is not disembodied spatially, socially, temporally, as in most museums. The space surrounding my work is crucial to it: as much thought has gone into the installation as into a piece itself…. My installations and architecture are very much in defense of my work…. I have to defend what I’ve done; it is urgent and necessary to make my work last in its first condition.”
Last year marked the thirtieth anniversary of the Chinati Foundation. Following the inauguration last July of a major new addition to the permanent collection, Robert Irwin’s untitled (dawn to dusk), Chinati’s trustees and staff have focused on ensuring the long-term preservation of the museum and its unique mission while, at the same time, codifying principles for future development along the lines established by Judd in his writing and art. The plan will guide the work of the museum for decades to come and by sharing the plan with the public Chinati hopes to foster conversation among scholars and like-minded institutions about the preservation and stewardship of sites created by artists.
To share aspects of this process, Chinati will host a two-part symposium in April. The first installment will be held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York on April 22 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. It will feature a presentation of the master plan by Chinati and Sasaki staff and responses by the Chicago-based artist and urban planner Theaster Gates, art historian Richard Shiff, and Ann Temkin, chief curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art. A second presentation will be held in Marfa, Texas on April 29 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, featuring panelists Frank E. Sanchis III, director of United States Programs for the World Monuments Fund, and Billie Tsien and Tod Williams, principals of the architecture firm Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners. Both installments of the symposium will be moderated by architecture writer Karen Stein.
The symposium is free and open to the public but reservations are required. To make a reservation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 432.729.4362. Please indicate if you will attend in New York and/or in Marfa. For more information, please contact Jennifer Lees at email@example.com.
Chinati Foundation Master Plan
The Chinati Foundation’s master plan initiative was launched in 2014 with a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and contributions from Still Water Foundation, Kirkpatrick Family Fund, and Chinati’s board of trustees. The goal of the master plan is to provide a framework for the care and development of the Chinati site by addressing a range of topics, including the conservation of existing buildings and the collection, the viability—philosophically and physically—of completing projects unfinished or unrealized by Judd, the increasing number of visitors and their access to the site and collection, along with a range of land management issues.
In early 2016, the Boston-based architecture and design firm Sasaki was chosen to develop the master plan. Founded in 1953 by the respected landscape architect, planner, and Harvard faculty member Hideo Sasaki, the firm advocates an interdisciplinary approach to planning and design. For six decades, Sasaki has worked across the United States and internationally on projects that range in scale and typology, including the Lincoln Memorial landscape and reflecting pool, Beijing’s 798 Arts District, the Chicago Riverwalk, and the master plan for the University of Texas at Austin.
Led by firm principal Brie Hensold, Sasaki’s Chinati team includes architects, engineers, and landscape architects. The team has worked closely with museum staff and engaged consultants from Heritage Strategies, Lord Cultural Resources, Aeon Preservation Services, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, and Simpson Gumpertz & Heger.
The first phase in developing the master plan was a comprehensive site survey and an architectural/ structural assessment of all buildings on the complex, which were not originally designed to house artworks and were adapted by Judd with the resources available to him at the time. The first phase also incorporated condition and conservation reports for all works of art in the collection; an investigation into the current state of the land; recommendations for recuperating both planted and native grasses and trees; and proposals for protecting the view shed that are essential to the experience of the art. The second phase codifies Judd’s original goals for Chinati by establishing institutional guidelines for building usage and maintenance, restoration and conservation standards, and an overview of how the museum might grow in the future.
Symposium: New York City
The symposium will occur in two parts. The first will take place at the Museum of Modern Art in New York on Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The speakers will include:
Theaster Gates, artist and founder of the non-profit Rebuild Foundation, which acquires dilapidated buildings on the predominantly African-American South Side of Chicago and rehabilitates them to serve as community, artistic, archival, and residential complexes. Gates’s many awards include the Kurt Schwitters Prize (2017), the American Academy of Arts & Sciences Award (2016), the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award for Social Progress (2015), the Artes Mundi Award (2015), Knight Foundation Grant (2014), and the Creative Capital Grant (2012). His recent exhibitions include Theaster Gates: The Minor Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. (March 5–September 4, 2017); But To Be A Poor Race, Regen Projects, Los Angeles (2017); Theaster Gates: How to Build a House Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada (2016); “Theaster Gates: True Value,” Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy (2016); and Theaster Gates: Black Archive, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria (2016).
Richard Shiff, Effie Marie Cain Regents Chair in Art and director, Center for the Study of Modernism at the University of Texas at Austin. The author of many scholarly essays on Donald Judd, Shiff’s other publications include Cézanne and the End of Impressionism (1984), Critical Terms for Art History (co-edited, 1996, 2003), Barnett Newman: A Catalogue Raisonné (co- authored, 2004), Doubt (2008), Between Sense and de Kooning (2011), and Ellsworth Kelly: New York Drawings 1954–1962 (2014).
Karen Stein (moderator), writer, architectural advisor, and Executive Director of the George Nelson Foundation. Previously, she was Editorial Director of Phaidon Press. Currently she is a member of the board of directors of the Architectural League of New York and the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, and for ten years she served as a member of the jury of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
Ann Temkin, the Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, currently preparing a retrospective exhibition of the work of Donald Judd. Exhibitions organized or co-organized at MoMA include Picasso Sculpture (2015); Robert Gober: The Heart Is Not a Metaphor (2014); Jasper Johns: Regrets (2014); Ellsworth Kelly: Chatham Series (2013); Claes Oldenburg: The Street and The Store and Mouse Museum/Ray Gun Wing (2013). From 1990 to 2003, Temkin was the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Her exhibitions there included Barnett Newman (2002), Alice Neel (2001), and Constantin Brancusi (1995).
Symposium: Marfa, Texas
The second installment of the symposium will be held in Marfa on Saturday, April 29 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Chinati and Sasaki will present the plan to the community and the forum will again be moderated by Karen Stein. Other participants will include:
Frank E. Sanchis III, Program Director, United States, World Monument Fund; previously served as Senior Advisor to the Municipal Art Society and Vice President for Stewardship of Historic Sites for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Executive Director of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. The Chinati Foundation was nominated to the 2014 World Monuments Watch list.
Billie Tsien and Tod Williams, principals of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners, recipients of more than two dozen awards from the American Institute of Architects, a 2014 International Fellowship from the Royal Institute of British Architects and the 2013 Firm of the Year Award from the American Institute of Architects. In 2013, Tsien and Williams were each awarded a National Medal of Arts. Major projects include the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ (2015); the Tata Consultancy Services, Banyan Park, Mumbai, India (2014); LeFrak Center at Lakeside, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY (2013); Asia Society Hong Kong Center, Admiralty, Hong Kong (2012); Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA (2012); and Cranbrook Natatorium, Cranbrook Schools, Bloomfield Hills, MI (1999).
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 work 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 land together to form a coherent whole. Judd believed in the purity of art and its intrinsic value for humans. He situated his museum in Marfa, Texas, believing that the remoteness and vast open spaces of the locale enhanced viewers’ experience of the artworks. In addition to installations by Judd, Dan Flavin, and John Chamberlain, the collection includes works by Carl Andre, Ingólfur Arnarsson, Roni Horn, Robert Irwin, Ilya Kabakov, Richard Long, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, David Rabinowitch, and John Wesley. Chinati’s mission is to preserve Judd’s vision by conserving the collection and making it available to the public, while maintaining the educational programs Judd initiated, including symposia, temporary exhibitions, artist residencies, internships, and publications.
Location and Contact
1 Cavalry Row, PO Box 1135, Marfa, Texas 79843
Hours and Admission
The museum is open every Wednesday through Sunday from 9am to 5pm with a selection of docent-led tours or self-guided viewing options available. Admission prices vary. For more information visit our website at www.chinati.org or call Visitor Services at 432-729-4362.
For additional press information, contact Jessica Lutz, Communications Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 432-729-4362.
Chinati's master plan was made possible with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Still Water Foundation, Kirkpatrick Family Fund, and Chinati Foundation Trustees. Chinati's educational and public programming is supported with generous grants from the Texas Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Brown Foundation, The William Randolph Hearst Foundations, the Carl B. & Florence E. King Foundation, and the Cowles Charitable Trust. Chinati is grateful for the generous financial support of our members and the support and in-kind contributions of the people of Marfa and far West Texas.