Go to main contentGo to footer


Donald Judd (Excelsior Springs, Missouri, 1928 - New York 1994)

Marker, pencil, collage on paper
GDSU no. 116562, Donation by Giuseppe Panza di Biumo, 1994

After a degree in philosophy from the Columbia University School of General Studies and a master's degree in art history under Rudolf Wittkover and Meyer Schapiro, he began his career in the art world in the 1950s and 60s by writing for major art journals and teaching at the Hunter College in New York and at the Yale University in Connecticut. In the meantime, he switched from the expressionist figuration of his early paintings on canvas to the near-abstract style of his wood engravings. In 1963, for his first exhibition at the Green Gallery in New York, he presented three-dimensional objects in wood and metal, monochromes, which in 1965 he made into the protagonists of the famous essay Specific Objects. According to Judd, these large elementary silhouettes, which became the main element of his production, acquire their artistic identity only thanks to their presence in real space, which is thus redeveloped. However, it is difficult to define them, as they are hybrids between painting, sculpture, architecture and environments.

The dating of this drawing, 1965, is coeval with the publication of the essay, and makes it a particularly interesting testimony to the genesis of the new current of Minimalism, which later would have its first public success in 1966 with the Primary Structures exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York, where British and American artists were involved in the same research on primary geometric structures. Moreover, in that exhibition Judd confirmed his propensity to work with serial modules, as well as his predilection for industrial materials. These latter aspects were also confirmed by this drawing: as a matter of fact, it was a project for the construction of a steel module, as shown in the detailed instructions written by the artist on the top left corner and addressed to the specialised workers to whom he delegated the execution of his works in those years. The drawing was donated to the Uffizi in 1994 by art collector Giuseppe Panza di Biumo, in response to an appeal launched by a scientific committee of excellence led by art collector Giuliano Gori after the bombing of Via dei Georgofili.

Text by
Chiara Toti
Interested in visiting The Uffizi?
Arrange your visit to Florence, find prices and opening hours of the museum.

The Newsletter of the Uffizi Galleries

Subscribe to keep up to date!