photos: Art © Judd Foundation . + David Zwirner
Throughout his career, Judd endeavored to produce objects that were entirely self-referential, writing in 1968, “A shape, a volume, a color, a surface is something itself. It shouldn’t be concealed as part of a fairly different whole.” Cor-ten afforded Judd a new avenue for exploring many of the fundamental preoccupations of his oeuvre, such as the relationships between surface and volume, as well as color and form.
In 1988, with the intention of localizing his production near his residence and studio in Marfa, Texas, where he had been living since 1973, Judd opened a workshop in a disused ice factory, naming it El Taller Chihuahuense (“The Chihuahuan Workshop,” after the Chihuahuan Desert, in which Marfa is located). The ability to make Cor-ten works in Marfa allowed Judd to quickly experiment with the material in a way not done before. El Taller Chihuahuense was a small-scale operation dedicated exclusively to the production of his works; the proximity of the workshop and ease of production was the closest Judd would return to a classical studio since his 19th Street loft where he made the works for his 1963 Green Gallery show by himself with his father’s help.