Wednesday, June 3, 2009

19 Days to Go: Boxes - Woodshop Update & Donald Judd's Chinati Foundation

Woodshop: We are plugging away at the Nesting Boxes. There are six, one for each earthwork, all made from different wood and the best part of it all - four of the six have finger notches to hold them together. We have yet to use the wood burning tool to carve the names into them (with "branding font" = just kidding) so you might see one other photo after they are completely finished.

And now for some aluminum boxes:

Donald Judd, 100 Untitled Works, 1982-6

This will be my third trip to Chinati, one of my favorite places in the world, and Nancy's first. It will also be where we end our trip after three weeks of travel. We intentionally chose to stop here for personal reflection on the whole endeavor, the most ideal location of them all.

Some facts about the Chinati Foundation:

1) Judd never forgot Western Texas when passing through this area in 1946, as a soldier on the way from Alabama to California where he was to be shipped to Korea. He settled in the town of Marfa in the early 1970s, escaping NYC.

2) Marfa originated as a water stop on the Galveston and San Antonio Railroad. The name Marfa is that of a heroine from a Russian novel, Fyodor Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, which made a deep impression on the wife of one of the railway’s executives. When Judd rented a small house, as an initial base, it was still a prosperous cattle town. With Dia's help, he bought the former Fort D.A. Russell and formed the Chinati Foundation named after the nearby mountain range.

3) Between 1982 and 1986, Judd installed 100 identical aluminum boxes in two former military artillery sheds. Each box is unique, reflecting the changing sunlight and weather.

4) The Chinati Foundation is one of the largest visible installations of contemporary art in the world. The art is meant to be permanently installed and maintained in a space suitable to it (most of it made for the existing buildings which were slowly renovated).

Here are some photographs by Todd Eberle from Donald Judd: Architect and additional images from the Dia Foundation.

One of the barracks holding Dan Flavin's installation before renovation.

The Arena with Richard Long's Sea Lava Circles.

The Chamberlain Building

The Whyte Building (located across the street from the Chamberlain Building in downtown Marfa)

Architectural Studio, First floor, Main Hall

Pool at La Mansana de Chinati, Marfa, Texas (AKA the "Block")
Oh la la! There will be several entries on swimming pools this trip - this just happens to be the second at Judd's abode in downtown Marfa.

...and another view because you can't get enough swimming pools in West Texas.

Las Casas of Ayala de Chinati, view of the ranch to the SE

Landscape with Mesa del Mimbres de Sierra Chinati seen from Las Casas de Ayala de Chinati, Donald Judd’s Ranch

Pool with Concentric Circular Walls Built From Rock at Las Casas della Valle de Tinaja Blanca de Ayala de Chinati, Donald Judd’s Ranch

Judd’s ranch is in the mountains, 50 miles to the SW near the Mexican border, in the direction of the Rio Grande. After thirty miles the paved road ends and a rocky road leads into the mountains. The small house, twenty miles further on, is in a valley, overgrown with thorn bushes and cacti. It is the most remote of his three ranches which Judd collectively called Ayala de Chinati. It's a three hour drive in a four wheel drive vehicle. There are four buildings: the main house, the guest house, the studio, and the bunkhouse. In addition there are ranch structures like the water tank that Judd surrounded with concentric circles.

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