Saturday, June 15, 2013

Donald Judd: The Birth of the Loft

Dining table. © Joshua White / Judd Foundation

One of the formative experiences of my student years or shortly thereafter was a visit to this building when Judd was still around (though mostly in Marfa then), thanks to Ron Bentley and Sal LaRosa and their friend and teacher, the late Lauretta Vinciarelli. (Sal introduced us to everything about downtown New York in those years). There was the cargo lift, and every floor was an open space dedicated to a single use, from the bedroom on top down to the living room and the country-style kitchen, organized around an enormous oak table.

Each floor was so down to nothing that the stereo and speakers were on the floor, with cables snaking about, and the bed too, on a low platform. The ground floor was a dusty private gallery that you could gawk at from the street. Every floor was about that run of windows on one side, leading you from the back, where the stairs and elevator were, into the space.

There was a memorable New Yorker cover with a drawing of the building in those years, which I saved. It caught the spirit of the building then better than the exterior shots I've seen recently:

The New Yorker, October 13, 1980

Read about the restoration of Judd's building here:

 Alice Rawsthorne
"Donald Judd and the Art of Living"
The New York Times, June 2, 2013

James S. Russell
"Donald Judd’s SoHo Loft Opens After $23 Million Makeover"
Bloomberg, June 1, 2013

Cifflord A. Pearson
"Judd Home and Studio"
Architectural Record, May 2013

Alexandra Lange
"Donald Judd's House"
The New Yorker Culture Desk, May 13. 2013

New Yorker cover courtesy  

The Judd Foundation 

See my blog entry of July 28th for my own story on the building published in El País, Minimalismo al máximo.

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