’Art as the first requirement’: Donald Judd’s 101 Spring Street to open as gallery
In 1968, the American minimalist artist Donald Judd purchased a five-story building at 101 Spring Street in New York’s SoHo neighborhood for $68,000, turning it into his residence and studio. He would continue to renovate the building until his death in 1994, installing artworks by other artists; The Judd Foundation would eventually complete a $23 million renovation of the house in 2013, overseen by Flavin Judd and Rob Beyer. ’The first thing to remember about 101 Spring Street is that it was a house,’ says his son Flavin Judd, named after his father’s close friend, the artist Dan Flavin. ’It was where a family grew up and worked... it is only a museum, now, because that work was so important and had such a long lasting resonance.’
Previously accessible only by appointment, the space’s ground floor will now be a gallery space open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays, with an inaugural exhibition featuring two pieces by Flavin. ’I had been thinking about Dan Flavin a bit recently and thought that a small show would be really nice,’ says Flavin Judd, who curated the show. ’After Dan died we had one of his works (untitled (to Don Judd, colourist)) installed on the first floor, so in a way it was a way of going back to a familiar, friendly, situation after the restoration of the building.’
One piece comprises a square made from two hot pink light tubes, plus single green and yellow tubes; the other is a linear abstract piece of six primary-colored tubes. Visitors will also have a chance to lounge on a walnut daybed designed by Judd while reading books from his library.
’They respected and liked each other based on the high regard they held for each other’s work,’ says Judd. ’Don liked the radicalness of Dan’s work and Dan liked the breadth and depth of Don’s way of thinking and working. It was friendship grounded in art, with art as the first requirement.’