Donald Judd: Interviews
Donald Judd, designer Michael Dyer/Remake
Judd Foundation & David Zwirner Books, 2019
Donald Judd Interviews presents sixty interviews with the artist over the course of four decades and is the first compilation of its kind. It is the companion volume to the critically acclaimed and bestselling Donald Judd Writings.
This collection of interviews engages a diverse range of topics, from philosophy and politics to Judd’s insightful critiques of his own work and the work of others such as Mark di Suvero, Edward Hopper, Yayoi Kusama, Barnett Newman, and Jackson Pollock. The opening discussion of the volume between Judd, Dan Flavin, and Frank Stella provides the foundation for many of the succeeding conversations, focusing on the nature and material conditions of the new art developing in the 1960s. The publication also gathers a substantial body of unpublished material across a range of mediums, such as radio and film, including extensive interviews with art historians Lucy R. Lippard and Barbara Rose.
Judd’s contributions in interviews, panels, and extemporaneous conversations are marked by his forthright manner and rigorous thinking, whether in dialogue with art critics, art historians, or his contemporaries. In one of the last interviews, he observed, “Generally, expensive art is in expensive, chic circumstances; it’s a falsification. The society is basically not interested in art. And most people who are artists do that because they like the work; they like to do that [make art]. Art has an integrity of its own and a purpose of its own, and it’s not to serve the society. That’s been tried now in the Soviet Union and lots of places, and it doesn’t work. The only role I can think of, in a very general way, for the artist is that it [art] tends to shake up the society a little bit just by its existence, in which case it helps undermine the general political stagnation and, perhaps by providing a little freedom, supports science, which requires freedom. If the artist isn’t free, you won’t have any art.”