March 1, 2020 - July 11, 2020
The Museum of Modern Art: 11 West 53rd Street, New York, New York

Mustering both the greatest hits and choice deep cuts, curators Ann Temkin and Yasmil Raymond have created an indelible portrait of Donald Judd, the unrelenting, irascible godhead of Minimalism, a term that he famously disdained. Arraying his ultra-precise works across MoMA’s entire sixth floor with elegance and real courage (these are not quiet sculptures), the show has the effect of a plunge into a frigid lake after a long sauna session: it’s bracing, overwhelming, and refreshing. (How long you can remain in the water is another matter.) Judd’s language has been thoroughly digested by the broader culture, but seeing so much of his art together underscores its audacity, its alienness, and its allure. It’s a huge exhibition, but it’s so lively that I suspect many will leave hankering for more Judd. Thankfully, additional work awaits at shows that run during parts of the MoMA show at Gagosian, David Zwirner, and the Judd Foundation. Make it a Judd weekend, and while en route to those shows, read the artist’s forceful writing, which has the same biting clarity as his art. One of the all-time great art putdowns (or at least one of my favorite) comes when the maestro turns his attention to an Anselm Kiefer work, deciding it is “one of the worst paintings I’ve ever seen in all respects.” —Andrew Russeth

Photo: Donald Judd, Untitled, 1973. Courtesy Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Panza Collection, 1991 / © 2020 Judd Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

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