‘A Total Failure of Invention’: Donald Judd on the State of Emerging Art—in an Unpublished Interview from 1985
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‘A Total Failure of Invention’: Donald Judd on the State of Emerging Art—in an Unpublished Interview from 1985

Installation view of the Whitney’s “1985 Biennial Exhibition,” with, left to right: John Duff’s Irregular Column, 1984, and Donald Judd’s Untitled, 1984, and Untitled, 1984. GEOFFREY CLEMENTS/COURTESY THE WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART The following is excerpted from the forthcoming book Donald Judd Interviews (David Zwirner Books/Judd Foundation), an anthology of talks and discussions—edited by Flavin Judd and Caitlin Murray—with the storied Minimalist artist spanning four decades of his career. —The Editors of ARTnews Donald Judd frequently criticized large museum exhibitions in his writing and interviews. In his 1989 essay “Ausstellungsleitungsstreit,” for example, he wrote that very large exhibitions “never provide a true sense of what is being done in contemporary art. Most large collections of contemporary art are also not relevant… The best work of the time is never seen together. The organizers promote work they favor; they regard art as a ‘scene,’ anything that occurs. In New York City examples of this are the annuals of the Whitney Museum of forty years ago, as well as now.” Judd had two works included in the 1985 Biennial Exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. To promote the biennial, the Whitney created a half-hour-long television […]

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