He still isn’t on any center stage. As a model for young artists now — in an art world that acknowledges multiple histories and has zero interest in “isms” — he seems locked in another time, as do many of his contemporaries who came of age more than a half-century ago. Simply put, they lived on a smaller art planet, one small enough to have faith in a Next Big Step. In the market-managed present, it’s hard to imagine ever thinking that way.
But it’s good to have him back in the spotlight at MoMA and elsewhere. (Several smaller New York exhibitions have been scheduled to complement the retrospective show.) And it’s nice to report that in important ways he still is news. His art once thought to be too severe to be beautiful (or maybe to be art at all) can now be seen to offer pleasures, visual and conceptual, that any audience with open eyes, can relate to, and that young artists can even maybe shoot for. Judd the critic once said that for art to matter, “it needs only to be interesting.” His is.
Sunday through July 11 (opens to members Feb. 27), Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, Manhattan; 212-708-9400, moma.org.
Judd Around Town
Several galleries are offering shows related to the artist.
Judd in Two Dimensions: Fifteen Drawings at Mignoni, 960 Madison Avenue, Manhattan; through March 21; mignoniart.com.
Judd Foundation: In conjunction with the MoMA retrospective, Judd’s former loft and working space will operate an expanded visit schedule from March 1 — July 11, at 101 Spring Street. It will also display 20 woodcut prints that Judd made in 1992 that have never been exhibited in New York. juddfoundation.org.
Donald Judd: Artwork: 1980 at Gagosian, 522 West 21st Street, Manhattan, March 12-April 11); gagosian.com.
Donald Judd: Artworks 1970-1994 at David Zwirner, 525 and 533 West 19th Street. Manhattan, April 18 to June 26; davidzwirner.com.
Salon 94 will be hosting a presentation of Donald Judd Furniture at the New York edition of TEFAF, May 8-12 at the Park Avenue Armory.