A good chair is a good chair
“The exhibition “Donald Judd – A good chair is a good chair”, which is being organized jointly with the IKON Gallery, Birmingham and Judd Foundation, Marfa/New York, presents a concentrated selection of the furniture Judd has designed. It also includes prototypes and early items that Judd built himself and were destined for his own use – and have to date – rarely been on show outside Judd’s home towns of New York and Marfa, Texas.
For the first time in the context of an interdisciplinary institution, Die Neue Sammlung – The International Design Museum Munich – is showing a focused selection of the furniture Judd conceived, is doing so within a setting of important museum collections on the history of modern art and design.
Judd addressed the design of furniture more intensely after moving to Marfa/Texas. He needed tables, chairs and a children’s bed for his small house. As Judd was unable to buy the furniture that met his requirements either in Marfa or the surrounding towns he decided to design and make his own. The first item he produced was the bed for his children – made of simple pine boards. The standard 12” size of the timber served as the basic module because Judd was only able to shorten the boards in the local timber merchants, but could not get them processed any further. It was only later that he worked with a carpenter who produced the furniture exactly according to his specifications. After a while in addition to the wooden furniture he opted for his first metal pieces of furniture, for which purpose he largely used sheet aluminum, which was produced in different colors. Judd was always intent on his furniture not being seen as “artist’s furniture” but as proper furniture that functioned well.”