Donald Judd, one of the most recognized artists of the 20th Century, made architecture, and UF SoA associate professor Donna Cohen served as his assistant on several architectural projects. A set of his buildings and proposals, designed between 1984 and 1994, is the subject of an exhibit, “Obdurate Space: Architecture of Donald Judd,” now on view at the Center for Architecture in New York City.

The exhibit curators, Donna Cohen and Claude Armstrong, picked five related projects, illustrated with drawings, models and descriptive texts, to suggest how drawing and building cultures impacted Judd’s art and how his work has influenced contemporary architecture. Students from Cohen’s seminar built the five new models and digital views of the works on display. Pieces from the show will travel for exhibit at the Harn Museum of Art in Gainesville, FL, in April.

“Judd’s work has been of interest to architects for decades, even though many of his works in architecture were unknown to a wider public. As his former assistants, Claude Armstrong and I had knowledge to share, but Judd was so prolific that further archival research was needed for the exhibition. Discoveries were made in the archives, and also in the production of new models and drawings. In the seminar, students learned to appreciate Judd’s precise methodology through their beautiful constructions of his works. Building models, by hand and in the Fab-Lab, became the ideal way to transmit the knowledge we have to the students, and for all of us to learn through their discoveries,” Cohen stated.

On March 5, 6:15 p.m., Cohen will moderate a related panel discussion, “Donald Judd: Process and Practice of the Artist,” at the Center for Architecture NYC. Panelists include practicing architects and art historians with new scholarship on Judd’s work:

  • Claude Armstrong, Architect, LEED AP; Co-Curator, “Obdurate Space: Architecture of Donald Judd”; Principal, Armstrong + Cohen Architecture
  • Judith Birdsong, Lecturer, the University of Texas Austin; Visiting Professor of Architecture, the University of South Florida
  • Rebecca Siefert, Ph.D. Candidate, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York; Instructor, Art History and Architectural History, New York University and The City University of New York
  • Adam Yarinsky, FAIA, Principal, Architecture Research Office

The exhibit was made possible by grants from the Graham Foundation and DCP.

Research support from Judd Foundation; Chinati Foundation; Rothman Faculty Fellowship, UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere; UF School of Architecture.

Exhibit Graphic Design: Edith Gibbs Williams

Architecture Students: Levi Wiegand, Jamie Lindsey, Pei- Fen Yeh, Jun Li, Jiali Wang, Nicole Paul Popovitch, Olivia Alfonso, Laura Rodriguez, Zachary Wignall, Jeffral Betancourt, Thiago Silvino, Hector Garcia, Kristel Bataku

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