This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features Marianne Stockebrand, the curator of “Donald Judd: The Multicolored Works” and the former director of the Chinati Foundation. The program was taped before a live audience at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, where “The Multicolored Works” is on view through January 4.
This is the first museum exhibition to focus on Judd’s use of color, and more specifically Judd’s use of color in the 1980s, when he discovered a process that enabled a new kind of sculpture. “The Multicolored Works” includes 23 Judd sculptures as well as works on paper and collages from the collection of the Judd Foundation that reveal Judd’s creative process. The gorgeous exhibition is a shoo-in to rank highly on critics’ year-end top-ten lists.
Among the topics Stockebrand and host Tyler Green discussed is how Judd arrived at colors. In an essay Judd wrote just before his death, “Some Aspects of Color in General and Red and Black in Particular,” Judd wrote about how important this Roger van der Weyden Crucifixion (ca. 1460) at the Philadelphia Museum of Art was to him (Judd briefly lived in Philadelphia in 1947 and remembered the painting from that time): “The colors I remember are blue, not soft, and red, high and slightly rosy. In my present vocabulary, they are similar to RAL-Farben 3027, Himbeerrot, and RAL-5013.”
As Stockebrand pointed out on this week’s program, Judd wasn’t trying to copy those colors in his painting — to him they remained stolidly van der Weyden’s — but to depart from them. Pictured here are the van der Weyden and RAL-3027, the exact appearance of which may vary widely depending on your screen. At the bottom is an untitled 1989 Judd piece which may have been informed by the van der Weyden’s red. It may not be a RAL-3027-colored work/