The MoMA dives into what it’s like to live with some amazing minimalist artwork in the home and workplace. In a short article and photo essay the museum published on their website last spring, the idea of integrating large- and medium-size minimalist installation art is shown with a rarefied example: The personal spaces of pioneering minimalist artist Donald Judd. Included with the article is an image of his iconic New York City residential loft at 101 Spring Street in SoHo.
Judd set the high-bar example for the concept of using a former industrial building as a residential space and minimalist living. These days, if you want to live in an ultra-minimalist space with large minimalist artwork in a big city, it helps to have a lot of space, a lot of money, and the artwork. It really helps if you’re, say, a pioneering minimalist artist, a giant of the medium who bought an entire building in the 1960s for pennies on the dollar when SoHo was a decrepit and depressed urban-industrial part of downtown Manhattan. In other words, it helps to be Donald Judd. The building at 101 Spring Street that Judd and his wife bought and lived is now the home of the Judd Foundation. It houses a collection of artwork by Judd and some of his contemporaries such as Dan Flavin and Claes Oldenburg.
Beyond his ground-breaking artwork and his role in the emergence of minimalism, the influence of Judd on ideas of urban living is significant and part of a set of decades-old trends that have impacted the way many urbanites live and work today, where modern offices and residences have open spaces, exposed ceilings and pipes, sealed concrete floors, open plans, etc.,
But the MoMA article really looks more at how actual artwork occupies personal spaces, how a balance is established with the architecture of building, and the furniture and interior design of its spaces. Examples are shown of Judd’s artwork in situ in the aforementioned NYC residence as well as spaces in Marfa, Texas and Eichholteren, Switzerland.