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Donald Judd
André Volten

September 13 - November 1, 2020

opening: Sunday September 13, 16.00 hrs



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Donald Judd (1928 – 1994) was an American artist associated with minimalism (a term he nonetheless stridently disavowed). In his work, Judd sought autonomy and clarity for the constructed object and the space created by it, ultimately achieving a rigorously democratic presentation without compositional hierarchy. Nevertheless, he is generally considered the leading international exponent of "minimalism," and its most important theoretician through such seminal writings as "Specific Objects" (1964). Judd voices his unorthodox perception of minimalism in Arts Yearbook 8, where he asserts; "The new three dimensional work doesn't constitute a movement, school, or style. The common aspects are too general and too little common to define a movement. The differences are greater than the similarities."

From 1959 to 1965, he worked as an art critic, often writing over a dozen reviews a month. Judd was a painter until the early 1960s, when he began making work in three dimensions which changed the idea of art. Throughout his lifetime Judd advo­cated for the importance of art and artistic expression. He wrote extensively on the importance of land preservation, empirical knowl­edge, and engaged citizenship.

Judd developed his ideas con­cerning the permanent installation of artwork first in New York, at 101 Spring Street, a five-story cast-iron building he purchased in 1968. Judd began to purchase properties in Marfa in 1973 where he would continue permanently installing his work and the work of others until his death in 1994. These spaces, including studios, living quarters, and ranches, re­flect the diversity of his life’s work. Judd established the ideas of Judd Foundation in 1977, founded to preserve his art, spaces, librar­ies, and archives as a standard for the installation of his work. He founded the Chinati Foundation /La Fundación Chinati in 1986 specifically for the permanent in­stallation of large-scale works by himself and his contemporaries.

For almost four decades, Judd exhibited throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia with his work in museum collections worldwide. Major exhibitions of his work include the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1968, 1988); the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (1975); Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (1970); and Tate Modern, London (2004). The Museum of Modern Art, New York presents a major retrospective


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André Volten (1925-2002) was at the forefront of abstract sculpture in the Netherlands. Numerous sculptures, almost always in steel, are set up everywhere in the country at prominent locations such as the Stopera and the IJ-riverside in Amsterdam and the Jaarbeursplein in Utrecht. His work is often fully integrated into the surroundings. The relationship between the artwork, the environment and the spectator was always very important to Volten for his creation process.

The heavier, the better, seems to have been his adage. He worked a lifetime in steel, one of the toughest and most difficult materials to work with. He was one of the most sought-after sculptors for public space in the 1970s and 1980s. Volten was a master at finding a harmonious relationship between sculpture, architecture, design and urban space.

His work has been set up in many prominent places in the Netherlands and Germany. Examples include monumental sculptures at the IJ bank in Amsterdam, De Nederlandsche Bank, the Stopera in Amsterdam, Jaarbeursplein in Utrecht, Bezuidenhout in The Hague, in the center of Duisburg and the European Patent Office in Munich. The shapes that Volten used were simple; the column, cube and sphere keep recurring in his oeuvre. That seems simple, but with these basic forms that he always applied and with which he varied endlessly, a virtuoso design of public space was created.

André Volten grew up in Andijk, the Netherlands on the IJsselmeer. After the war, he left for Amsterdam where he visited the Institute for Applied Arts Education, the predecessor of the current Rietveld Academy. With the desire to learn to weld, he volunteered at the Nederlandse Dok- en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij in 1954. In this way, in order to master the processing of the material, he became a metalworker at the shipyard for several years. At the workplace he worked under the "iron regime", but occasionally also got to work on his own. From 1960 he increasingly devoted his time to completing monumental commissions. Through these commissions, Volten, more than anyone else, knew how to achieve harmony between sculpture as object in a given situation and sculpture as an element of and for reflection. Volten has thus contributed to an important extent to art in urban and other man-made environments.

 

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