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Donald Judd / Barnett Newman : Studio International, February 1970

image from Donald Judd / Barnett Newman : Studio International, February 1970

specific object / david platzker


Donald Judd / Barnett Newman : Studio International, February 1970

January 7 – March 29, 2013

Specific Object / David Platzker is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition Donald Judd / Barnett Newman : Studio International, February 1970. The exhibition will be on view at Specific Object from January 7 – March 29, 2013.

In October 1964, shortly before the publication of Donald Judd's seminal essay "Specific Objects," Judd was commissioned by the German art publication Das Kunstwerk to write an appreciation of Barnett Newman, who Judd revered. While Das Kunstwerk rejected the essay for reasons unknown, it was ultimately published by the British journal Studio International in their February 1970 issue, which was devoted to Newman.

Typical of Judd's essays of the period, and in the same tone as "Specific Objects," he wrote of Newman's mastery of large scale, color and composition, while spending little effort acknowledging Newman's interest in the use of the picture plane as a medium of spiritual transcendence.

It's important that Newman's paintings are large, but it's even more important that they are large scaled. His first painting with a stripe, a small one, is large scaled. The single stripe allowed this and the scale allowed the prominence and assertion of the stripe and the two areas. This scale is one of the most important developments in the twentieth-century art. Pollock seems to have been involved in the problem of this scale first. Newman shared attitudes which were leading to the scale and developed it on his own in 1950. A few others, a little later, recognized its importance. All of the best American art, to this moment, has this scale.

The exhibition at Specific Object features an original copy of Judd's manuscript; a copy of the February 1970 issue of Studio International; a telegram sent by Judd to Peter Townsend, the editor of Studio International, demanding an apology for the journal's failure to publish his preface to the essay; a copy of the May 1970 issue of Studio International with Townsend's apology; and one print each by Barnett Newman and Donald Judd that exemplify a harmony between the two artist's work.

Read Roberta Smith's review at:

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Telephone (212) 242-6253. Specific Object's website is For additional information regarding Specific Object please email David Platzker at