Donald Judd

Donald Judd Furniture Retrospective

Published: Rotterdam and Munich: Museum Boymans-van Beuningen and Villa Stuck

Date: 1993

First edition. 4to. 278x228mm. pp.134. Original brown cloth, brown paper dust jacket with black printed grid lines. Protected by plastic wrapper. Fine in a near-fine dust-jacket. Text in Dutch, English and German. Profusely illustrated throughout with colour photographs and reproductions of Judd’s sketches. The book was designed by 8vo, who produced artwork for Factory Records and published eight issues of the important typographic magazine Octavo. A lovely copy of a scarce book produced in conjunction with a major exhibition of Judd’s furniture design in 1993, the year before his death.

This important retrospective includes Judd’s acerbic and opinionated essay “It’s hard to find a good lamp”. In it, he explains how his furniture design relates to his earlier work in the visual arts (it doesn’t, is the short answer). He also criticises traditional furniture design and defends his own pared down (he disliked being described as a minimalist) work: “I am often told that the furniture is not comfortable and that it is not functional. The source of the question is in the overstuffed bourgeois Victorian furniture which never ceased. The furniture is comfortable to me. Rather than making a chair to sleep in or a machine to live in, it is better to make a bed. A straight chair is best for eating or writing. The third position is standing”.