My work with the whole room began with part of it [the room]. In 1965, I made a work that extended from the floor to the ceiling. This extended the definition of space between the units to those below and above. — Donald Judd
Donald Judd’s Untitled, 1967 is emblematic of his mature style, and though Judd refuted the term Minimalism, his work came to represent the ideas and artwork that Minimalism generated. Untitled is created by ten stainless steel and Plexiglas units, hung equidistant from each other between the floor and ceiling. Like most of Judd’s work, the piece uses a simple geometric language, and a machined, industrial look, avoiding any direct associations with outside objects. Judd had the boxes fabricated to his specifications, and the work shows no evidence of the artist’s (or craftsman’s) hand. Judd’s seemingly simple objects come from a set of theories and explorations into how humans experience space and how objects relate to the space they inhabit. Judd wanted his objects—he called them “specific objects,” not “sculptures”—to assert themselves as unified forms that take into account the space around them. Untitled is mounted on the wall, yet it extends out into the space around it. The arrangement acknowledges the verticality of the wall and the planes of the floor and ceiling. The pale orange Plexiglas casts a soft glow onto the wall around it, accounting for the space the piece activates but does not physically exist within. In Judd’s work, the parts equal the whole; surface, material, composition, and weight all function equally and harmoniously to activate the space. Judd said, “In the new work the shape, image, color, and surface are single and not partial and scattered. There aren’t any neutral or moderate areas or parts, any connections or transitional areas.” Judd’s simple and concise piece is an object perfectly aware of the space it inhabits.