A rare site-specific sculpture by International artist Donald Judd
It is Adelaide’s international work of art that was never meant to be.
The creation of Donald Judd’s triangular concrete sculptural form in AGSA’s north lawn resulted from a combination of good luck, agile thinking and an inspired response to a misunderstanding. It is now a rare site-specific sculpture by the late American contemporary artist.
Judd (1928–1994) had been due to make a site-specific work in Sydney while visiting Australia in 1974 for the exhibition Some Recent American Art, on tour from New York’s Museum of Modern Art. However, when the Sydney site fell through, AGSA seized the opportunity and offered its lawn as an alternative.
Believing the new site to be flat, Judd began to conceive ideas for the work at AGSA – only to dispense with them when he reached Adelaide and discovered a gentle slope. While in the city in May 1974, he made new drawings and pegged out the ground. His envisaged steel became concrete, shape became triangular, and its slanting topmost surfaces reflected the unexpected lie of the land.
Judd’s Untitled, 1974–75, is a truly site-specific work, a ‘topographic object’ representing an artistic response not only to its immediate terrain but also to the undulating landscape of circumstance.