JUDD, Donald. Furniture Retrospective. Rotterdam: Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, 1993.

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(JUDD, Donald).
Donald Judd Furniture Retrospective.
Rotterdam: Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, 1993.

4to (269 × 220 mm), pp.134, [2]. Plain endpapers. 119 colour photographs, 12 reproductions of notes and sketches, text in Dutch, English, and German. Design by 8vo. Brown imitation cloth-covered boards. Printed kraft paper dust-jacket; short tear to head of spine at fold, rubbing at foot of spine. Fine in a near-fine dust-jacket.

First edition, cloth issue; copies in boards are scarce. This book gives an overview of Judd’s furniture work and also includes his essay ‘It’s Hard to Find a Good Lamp’, which is partly an account of his first forays into chair and table making, having found it hard to buy the right furnishings for his own home in Marfa, Texas. It is also a meditation on the problems of designer, antique and mass-produced furniture in which Judd rails against the price and availability of decent furniture, while also examining what constitutes good and bad design.

‘In the middle eighties I wrote that in the middle sixties someone asked me to design a coffee table. I thought that a work of mine which was essentially a rectangular volume with the upper surface recessed could be altered. This debased the work and produced a bad table which I later threw away. The configuration and the scale of art cannot be transposed into furniture and architecture. The intent of art is different from that of the latter, which must be functional. If a chair or a building is not functional, if it appears to be only art, it is ridiculous… Due to the inability of art to become furniture, I didn’t try again for several years. However I’ve always been interested in architecture and continued to sketch ideas.’


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