'Donald Judd', 1990 Photograph: Todd Eberle Judd Foundation Archives © Judd Foundation. Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Donald Judd’s Minimalist work revolutionised modern sculpture. Judd studied painting at the Art Students League in New York while simultaneously taking a course in philosophy at Columbia University. In 1965 he published the article ‘Specific objects’, having turned to art writing and criticism after his first exhibition of paintings left him displeased. The article became a decisive text for the Minimalist movement and Judd its key artist.

Judd worked at Gemini GEL in 1971 to create an untitled sculpture edition. Made from stainless steel and acrylic sheeting, the work is a telling example of Minimalism’s rejection of the traditional notion of representational sculpture.
Emilie Owens


Born in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, United States of America

Serves in the U.S. Army in Korea

Registers at the Art Student League, New York; transfers to College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia

Studies Philosophy at Columbia University, New York; studies painting at the Art Student League, New York

First solo exhibition, Don Judd, Panoramas Gallery, New York
Studies Art History at Columbia University, New York, under Rudolf Wittkower and Meyer Shapiro

Begins writing for journal, Art News

Works as contributing editor of journal, Arts Magazine; works as reviewer for journal, Art International

Begins producing woodcuts, his first attempt at the print medium; produces a series of twenty six woodcuts, Untitled

Begins producing relief prints as his painting develops into low reliefs, high reliefs and then to free standing sculpture; wall pieces and floor pieces are made of precise geometric forms without bases
Receives Masters of Fine Arts from Columbia University, New York

Teaches at Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, New York

Solo exhibition, Don Judd, Green Gallery, New York

Publishes essay, Specific Objects in Arts Yearbook 8
Receives travel grant from the Swedish Institute

First in a series of extended solo exhibitions at Leo Castelli Gallery, New York; visiting artist at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire

Teaches at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut as instructor of sculpture; receives grant from National Endowment for the Arts

Solo exhibition, Don Judd, at The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; received grant from John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation

Produces his second group of woodcuts, Untitled

Solo exhibition, Don Judd, at Stedlijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Holland

Creates multiple Untitled, at Gemini GEL, Los Angeles; participates in the Guggenheim International Award exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Moves to Marfa, Texas

Produces a series of eighteen aquatints, Untitled; included in exhibition, Dan Flavin/Donald Judd/ Sol LeWitt, at Galleria La Bertesca, Milan, Italy

Publishes Completed Writings 1959-1975 (Halifax: Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design),his first of two volumes of theoretical writing on Minimalism

Baldwin Professor, at Oberlin College, Ohio; receives grant from the National Endowment for the Arts; solo exhibition, Skulpturen, at Kunsthalle, Bern, Switzerland

Participated in the Venice biennale, Italy

Participates in Documenta, Kassel, West Germany

Begins lecturing at various universities across the Untied States, Europe and Asia on art and architecture

Produces a series of twenty seven etchings, Untitled

Produces a series of four woodcuts, Untitled
Included in exhibition, Qu’est-ce que la sculpture, Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris, France
Opens the Chinati Foundation/La Fundación Chinati, Marfa

Solo exhibition, Donald Judd, Stedlijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, travels to Düsseldorf, Paris, Barcelona and Turin
Publishes, Complete Writings, 1975–1986 (Eindhoven: Stedelijk van Abbemuseum), his second volume of theoretical writing on Minimalism
Receives the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture by the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Mayne, Canada; receives the Brandeis University Medal for Sculpture from Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts

Travelling exhibition, Donald Judd, organised by The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, travels to Texas
Begins operation of El Taller Chihuahuense, factory for sculpture in Marfa

Establishes studio in Cologne, Germany

Founds publishing company, Der Zweite Pfeil, with Marianne Stockebrand

Receives award from Stankowski Foundation, Stuttgart, Germany

Solo exhibition, Donald Judd, prints 1951-1993, Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Holland; solo travelling exhibition, Kunst + design, originates at Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, Germany
Receives award from the Sikkens Foundation, Sassenheim, Holland

Donald Judd died in New York

This chronology provides an overview of selected biographical information, major solo and group exhibitions held within the artist's own lifetime. It builds upon the biographical information published in DonaldJudd: prints and works in editions: a catalogue raisonné (New York, Edition Schellman, 1993); Donald Judd (London: Tate Publishing, 2004); and on the Guggenheim website, guggenheimcollection.org.
Compiled by Simeran Maxwell, 2007

Further information will be added to this site as the National Gallery proceeds with its research and documentation.

Last updated January 2017