Donna Cohen, Associate Professor of Architecture, used her 2015 Rothman Faculty Summer Fellowship to begin work on curating, designing, and fabricating an exhibit on the architectural work of Donald Judd.
Donald Judd, one of the most important artists of the 20th century, made architecture; this exhibit is the first to focus on built and unrealized projects, previously published and unpublished, and to communicate the vast breadth and range in size and scope of his proposals to a wide audience. Not only does the exhibit make visible Judd's interest and ability in designing environments at every scale, it also prompts and informs timely discussions on the future of those works of architecture.
The exhibit, "Obdurate Space: Architecture of Donald Judd", is unique and timely because it emphasizes both the site and cultural contexts of Judd's proposals for architecture, includes digitally fabricated models that were not possible to make when these works were conceived, and promotes public dialogue about the value of his architecture in relation to his art practice.
Early in her career Cohen worked directly with Judd as an assistant on architectural projects, in Marfa, TX, NYC, and Switzerland. Many projects were built, while much of the architectural work that was produced during this period remains "unbuilt", in some cases unpublished, and in many cases little known.
The Rothman Faculty Fellowship provided the opportunity for Cohen to visit the archives in Marfa TX, to reevaluate work done decades earlier, to connect the dots between projects and the people behind them. Subsequently, the College of Design Construction and Planning supported a research trip to Switzerland to interview architects directly involved with the Bahnhof Ost in Basel and Eichholteren Haus in Kussnacht-am-Rigi; these architects will also contribute to the exhibit.
The new models, drawings, and texts will be on exhibit at the Center for Architecture in New York, October 2017 - January 2018, to coincide with a major retrospective on Judd at MOMA. A wide public will be able to view the retrospective of Judd's art at the Museum of Modern Art (https://www.moma.org), then travel downtown to experience his built space at his loft at 101 Spring Street (http://juddfoundation.org), then walk up the block to learn more about his architectural projects at the Center for Architecture (http://cfa.aiany.org). In Spring 2018 elements of the exhibit will reach a Florida audience at the Harn Museum of Art in Gainesville FL.
"Obdurate Space: Architecture of Donald Judd " has received major funding support from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.
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