The Chinati Foundation: La Fundación Chinati

This is Chinati's first catalog published in 1987, the year it was founded. The catalog was designed by Gianfranco Verna and includes black and white photographs by Sonny Lee and Robert Wilson. It was printed in Zürich by Bodmer + Weber in a limited run of 3,500 copies.

On Donald Judd's untitled (u and v channel) works

This essay is an expanded version of a talk delivered as part of Chinati Weekend 2016, on the occasion of the installation of two works by Donald Judd in the Ice Plant.

Lynne Cooke on Bridget Riley

The following essay is a revised version of a talk given as part of Chinati Weekend 2017 in Marfa, celebrating the opening of the special exhibition by Bridget Riley, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, 1983, as wall painting, Bolt of Colour, 2017.

Richard Shiff on Bridget Riley

The following essay is a revised version of a talk given as part of Chinati Weekend 2017 in Marfa, celebrating the opening of the special exhibition by Bridget Riley, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, 1983, as wall painting, Bolt of Colour, 2017.

A Way to Look At Things by Not Forgetting Their Names

Actually I am not so sure that to look hard at a thing is to forget its name—Valéry’s hasty quip which says as much seems to duck the troublesome and ever-present tangle of sights and words. For, try as I might, I never quite break free from language when I take in a work of art by Irwin; studying it involves in some basic way either recognizing by name that which already has one, or else discovering that what is there does not yet have a name.

John Chamberlain Quotations

When I took seven years off from working with painted metal I did three kinds of sculpture: I squeezed and tied foam rubber; I melted plexiglass; I wadded aluminum foil.

Chamberlain Building by Donald Judd

The important building not at Fort Russell is made of three buildings together, half a city-block, which were an office and warehouses for the sale of wool and mohair. This is in the center of Marfa, across from the Post Office. It contains the work of John Chamberlain.

Pink, Yellow, Blue, Green & Other Colors in the Work of Dan Flavin

This lecture was given at the Dia Center for the Arts in February of 1996 on the occasion of Dan Flavin's exhibition European Couples, and Others. It is published here in an edited version and dedicated to Franz Meyer.

Donald Judd: Artillery Sheds

The buildings, purchased in '79, and the works of art that they contain were planned together as much as possible. The size and nature of the buildings were given. This determined the size and the scale of the works.

The Making of Two Works: Donald Judd's Installations at The Chinati Foundation

This essay was presented as a lecture at the Courtauld Institute, London, on February 26, 2004. It was published in 2004 in Chinati's annual newsletter, volume 9.

A Conversation with John Wesley by Marianne Stockebrand

An edited transcript of a June 2005 conversation between John Wesley and Marianne Stockebrand.

On Carl Andre's Poems

Carl Andre provided a new perspective on sculpture when he placed work flat on the floor; his touch as a poet was no less radical. Andre designed the shape of poetry according to his own understanding of the word as a concrete module, similar to the squares of industrial metal, wooden timbers, or bricks in his signature three-dimensional pieces.

Boris Groys: Kabakov as Illustrator

A lecture given on October 12, 2002 on the occasion of Ilya Kabakov’s exhibition Children’s Books and Related Drawings, 1956–1987 at the Chinati Foundation.

Donald Judd in Conversation with Regina Wyrwoll

The following pages present an edited excerpt from an interview that took place on October 4-5, 1993 in Judd’s architecture office and library in Marfa, Texas. It was conducted in conjunction with Wyroll’s 1994 film Bauhaus, Texas, a documentary made for German television about Donald Judd and his work in Marfa. It was Judd’s last interview; he died in February 1994.

Notes on Nevill Street

I saw 100 North Nevill Street at its opening, during the afternoon of Sunday, December 15, 2013, and again at sunrise the next day, which came at 7:46 am—the moon had set precisely 45 minutes earlier.

Interview with Robert Irwin (Part 2)

The following conversation took place between Marianne Stockebrand and Robert Irwin in May 2001 in John Wesley’s apartment on Barrow Street in New York City. This is the second part of the dialog between Stockebrand and Irwin. It was originally published in the Chinati Foundation Newsletter Volume 6, 2001.

Interview with Robert Irwin (Part 1)

The following conversation took place between Marianne Stockebrand and Robert Irwin in May 2001 in John Wesley's apartment on Barrow Street in New York City. This is the first part of an ongoing dialogue that is meant to be continued. As will become apparent from the conversation, Robert Irwin is currently working on plans for a permanent installation at the Chinati Foundation. Under consideration for a possible location for his work is an existing, but largely dilapidated structure - the former hospital of Fort D.A. Russell. The conversation centers around this project, but also includes more general and fundamental thoughts.

An Interview with Jen Rosenblit

In early April, Chinati’s Special Projects and Programs Coordinator Darby Hillman conducted an interview with current Artist in Residence Jen Rosenblit. Among other subjects, their conversation covered matters of performance in challenging and non-traditional spaces, sports and what an ‘invitation to watch’ can mean.


A version of this essay was first given as a talk in the “Artists On Art” series at the Dia Center for the Arts, New York in February 2005.

Donald Judd: Local History

The two categories, objects and optical art, have been made from what is happening, are due to the two things selected and are far from being all of what is happening—and are hardly definitive. A whole new category could be made by connecting artists whose work expresses some of the concerns of more or less contemporary philosophy

Donald Judd: Jackson Pollock

Not much has been written on Pollock's work and most of that is mediocre or bad. And not much more has been written on anyone's work and usually not with any more thought. Art criticism is very inferior to the work it discusses.

On lngólfur Arnarsson's Drawings and Paintings

lngólfur Arnarsson's works suggest to me an expression of light, lightness and infinity. They give the fragile impression of Japanese porcelain and thereby protect themselves by making the spectator wary of touching them. Pristine delicacy is a characteristic of both his paintings and drawings.

Judd's Concrete Works

If I were to summarize this presentation, I might say that every view of a work is only a fragment of the total experience of it. Well, that’s obvious. A better way of saying this would be that we respond to the view much faster than we understand what causes this view. And with these works out in the field, the natural way to deal with them is to keep moving around them because they’re big, in the open, and they’re multi-part structures or compositions, so we’re inclined to keep moving.

The Space Between Things

For all the times I’ve visited Chinati over the last nine years (including three months living beside one of the artillery sheds), I can think of two instances in particular where the work changed me.

Wesley's Marfa

Marfa is hot, beautiful, lonesome, rapturous, isolating and inspiring. But now—with the arrival of John Wesley—comes something new: the first touch of warmth.

On Donald Judd's 1975 Retrospective

Dan Flavin's address to officially open Donald Judd's retrospective exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, May 23, 1975. Reproduced in The Chinati Foundation Newsletter, Volume 5, 2000.

A Conversation with Fred Sandback

The Chinati Foundation inaugurated its temporary exhibition Fred Sandback Sculpture during the annual Open House celebration in October 2001 with a conversation was held in the exhibition courtyard. This transcription of the conversation appeared in The Chinati Foundation Newsletter, Volume 7 the following year.

The Ideal Museum

We had already been hearing, in bits and pieces, about Donald Judd’s project and dream to found an “art colony” in Marfa, in the dry, southwestern corner of Texas. One or two people had visited him there in recent years and told of the plains, the mountains, the open sky in which small, block vultures circle, and the dry grass.

A Journal in Praise of the Art of John Wesley

The following text was first published in 1974 in the journal Unmuzzled Ox. It is the first installment of a journal that was continually updated by John Wesley's late wife, Hannah Green. December, 1973.

Robert Irwin, Whitney Museum of American Art

In 2015 the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York will move from its current location on Madison Avenue to a new building on Gansevoort Street. In light of this move, the museum took the opportunity this past summer to re-install Robert Irwin’s 1977 Scrim veil—Black rectangle—Natural light, Whitney Museum of American Art, a work expressly conceived for the fourth-floor gallery. The artist Jason Tomme documented the installation of the work and files this report.

The Whole Judd

This talk was first given in the German original in September 2011 at the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, then in its English translation in Marfa on May 12, 2012, and is here published in a slightly edited version. This transcript was published in The Chinati Foundation Newsletter, Volume 17. 

An Interview with Dan Flavin

The interview was conducted in Dan Flavin's house on the south shore of Long Island in Wainscott, New York on July 13, 1982. It was intended for publication but was never printed. The interview was published in volume five of the Chinati newsletter in 2000.

Concrete Buildings

This essay was first published in Donald Judd Architektur (Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster, 1989), and appeared in 2005 in The Chinati Foundation Newsletter, Volume 10.

Objects to Live With: Ken Price at Chinati

This essay by Rupert Deese on the sculptures of Ken Price (the focus of an exhibition at Chinati from 2004–2005), originally appeared in The Chinati Foundation Newsletter, Volume 10.

Judd, Bagpipes, Tartans, and Time

Judd’s appreciation for piping ignited in the late 1960s, when he was married to Julie Finch, a dancer of Scottish heritage. He heard pipers for the first time, other than at parades, during a trip to Nova Scotia with Finch, and she later bought him a tartan as a present.

Donald Judd: 21 February '93

Any work of art, old or new, is harm­ed or helped by where it is placed. This can almost be considered objec­tively, that is, spatially. Further, any work of art is harmed or helped—almost always harmed—by the meaning of the situation in which it is placed. There is no neutral space, since space is made, indifferently or intentionally, and since meaning is made, ignorantly or knowledgeably. This is the beginning of my concern for the surroundings of my work. These are the simplest circumstances which all art must confront. Even the smallest single works of mine are affected.

Fort D.A. Russell, Marfa

This text was first presented by historian Lonn Taylor as a lecture at the Chinati Foundation on May 1, 2011.

Judd Through Oldenburg

This text was presented by Richard Shiff as a lecture at Donald Judd: The Writings, a symposium held on February 28, 2004 at the Tate Modern, at the occasion of the museum’s retrospective exhibition of Donald Judd’s work. It was published in The Chinati Foundation Newsletter, Volume 9. 

John Chamberlain in Conversation with Klaus Kertess

This conversation was held during Chinati's annual Open House Weekend on Saturday, October 8, 2005.

Lawrence Weschler and Robert Irwin in Conversation

This is a transcript of a 2007 onstage conversation between Robert Irwin and Lawrence Weschler. It was originally published in The Chinati Foundation Newletter, Volume 12. 

On Josef Albers

The following essays (1959–1964) were published in Donald Judd, Complete Writings, 1959–1975, the Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 1975. They are reprinted here with permission from Judd Foundation.

Josef Albers: To Open Eyes

At the very moment Josef and Anni Albers found themselves unable to imagine their future in Germany, the offer of a teaching position at Black Mountain College arrived. This surprising invitation, which came in the form of a telegram from Philip Johnson, then head of the fledgling department of architecture and design at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, was an unintended consequence of three events: Rice’s resignation; the attendant dismissals and sympathetic resignations of a group of Rice’s colleagues; and the founding by this group of idealistic and disenchanted academics of a new college where they hoped to realize, independently, their educational philosophies and dreams.