Newsletter Issue:
Spring 2016

A Private Tour of the New York Home of Donald Judd

Jeff Siemers, Cohort ’14

IDSVA second-year students had the privilege of experiencing Donald Judd’s home and studio at 101 Spring Street in SoHo thanks to a private tour from the Judd Foundation. The tour was greatly enhanced by Power Boothe, artist and IDSVA Honorary Degree recipient, who was along with us for the day in New York. Boothe provided insight into Judd’s home as he spent time there while Judd’s family was living there, oftentimes pointing out specifics of the property of which the tour guide was unaware.

101 Spring Street. Photo by Jeff Siemers
101 Spring Street. Photo by Jeff Siemers

The tour began on the ground floor of the building where Judd’s artwork and furniture are displayed. Moving throughout the space inspired nostalgia of a time gone by in contemporary art in New York City. Each of the five floors has a function of its own: a kitchen and eating area, a workspace, as well as bedrooms highlighted by a Dan Flavin sculpture running along the windows. The living space and workspace are integrated throughout the building.

Intertextuality is a primary component of the IDSVA curriculum and pedagogy. Students are encouraged to place texts, artwork, and experiences in relation with one another. A text is never truly finished as it holds possibilities beyond the stated words. As we moved through rooms and floors of Judd’s residence and studio, we were able to see the elements of our surroundings speak to the modern art displayed as it was in the 1970s. The home displays artwork by artists such as Dan Flavin, Frank Stella, John Chamberlain, as well as Judd himself. Artwork displayed in a living space is viewed differently than in a gallery and it takes on yet another dialogue when viewed in relationship with a plethora of gallery visits throughout IDSVA’s New York Residency.

In 1965 Judd wrote about the new representation of three-dimensional work and explained: “it’s not like a movement: anyway, movements no longer work: also, linear history has unraveled somewhat.” Similarly, within the context of the IDSVA residency, the experience of 101 Spring Street in SoHo juxtaposed contemporary themes and ideas of the art world with the living space and philosophy of Donald Judd.

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