Six "not so unusual" furniture pieces by Donald Judd

Donald Judd furniture: Slip Together Plywood Architecture Table

To mark the release of the Donald Judd Furniture book we have selected six key pieces of furniture designed by the American artist.

Created through a collaboration between the Judd Foundation and publisher MACK, the Donald Judd Furniture book documents 104 furniture pieces created by the artist for his New York and Marfa, Texas, properties.

The book contains photos of all the pieces that remain in production through the foundation, along with newly commissioned perspective and elevation drawings of each piece and archival sketches by Judd.

Donald Judd Furniture book
Donald Judd Furniture is being published by MACK

The book also contains several essays by Judd, where he aimed to explain his views on furniture, its connections to his architecture and art and how it was designed to clearly fulfil a purpose.

“There’s an interesting disparity between the art and the architecture that I’ve made and what I’ve written on the two subjects,” wrote Judd in an essay published in Donald Judd Furniture. “My work as art is very new in the world.”

“The work as architecture that I’ve been able to do on my own is also new, but not as new, due to a lack of money and consequently technology, but also genuinely due to less need to be new, since as architecture it’s concerned with its purposes. The furniture is not so unusual but is still fairly new, due to taking it easy and letting the purpose dominate,” he continued.

“As usual the use of a word splits the word, as now in using ‘new’. Something can be new in that it has never been seen before or does something new, as with airplanes. Something can be new in quality even though it is or does something seen or done before, as with furniture. Art is the first, architecture is both, and furniture is the second.

Donald Judd tables

Read:

Donald Judd foundation sues Kim Kardashian for "false endorsement" of "knockoff" tables

American artist and designer Judd, who died in 1994, was a key figure in the minimalist movement.

His New York home and studio, where much of his furniture is on display, was restored by Architecture Research Office in 2013 and is now open to the public.

Read on for six key furniture pieces designed by Judd:

Donald Judd furniture: Fifth Floor Bed, 1970
Photo by Eric Petschek

Fifth Floor Bed 3, 1970

Designed for his studio and apartment building at 101 Spring Street in New York (pictured top), the fifth-floor bed was Judd’s first piece of furniture.

Placed on the building’s fifth floor, which gave the piece of furniture its name, the floor-level bed was made out of one-inch boards of varying widths and had built-in sockets for lights (pictured above).

Donald Judd furniture: La Mansana Table
Photo by Justin Chung

La Mansana Table, 1982

One of Judd’s best-known designs, the La Mansana Table was originally made from pine with accompanying pine chairs for an outdoor space at the artist’s La Mansana de Chinati property in Marfa, Texas.

The table was recently the subject of a dispute that saw the Donald Judd Foundation suing Kim Kardashian for “false endorsement” of “knockoff” tables.

Donald Judd furniture: Metal Bookshelf
Photo by Matthew Millman

Metal Bookshelf, 1984

Designed in 1984, the simple bookshelf was made from sheet metal and used within Judd’s architecture studio in downtown Marfa.

Donald Judd furniture: Narrow Frame Chair
Photo by Judd Foundation

Narrow Frame Chair, 1989

Originally made in cherry and then later in pine and plywood, the narrow-frame chair has a square seat that is 37 centimetres by 37 centimetres.

The photo shows the chair in the bathroom at 101 Spring Street in New York.

Donald Judd furniture: Slip Together Plywood Architecture Table
Photo by Matthew Millman

Slip Together Plywood Architecture Table, 1990

Made from birch plywood, the Slip Together Plywood Architecture Table was one of numerous pieces designed from simple materials for use in Judd’s architecture studio in Marfa.

The tables were designed so they can be made by making as few cuts as possible in the sheets, which can be slipped together.

Donald Judd furniture: Architecture Studio Bed
Photo by Alex Marks

Architecture Studio Bed, 1991

One of Judd’s lesser-known tubular steel designs, as its name suggests the Architecture Studio Bed was designed for the second floor of the artist’s architecture office in Marfa.

The simple frame was originally made in grey.

All photography is courtesy of the Judd Foundation. The main image is by Kyle Knodell.

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