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Donald Judd’s Credibility Gap Author(s): Robert Slifkin Source: American Art, Vol. 25, No. 2 (Summer 2011), pp. 56-75 Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of the Smithsonian American Art Museum Stable URL: . Accessed: 16/05/2013 14:07
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Donald Judd, Untitled, 1963. Oil on wood with Plexiglas, 19 ½ x 48 ½ x 48 ½ in. Collection Judd Foundation © Judd Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York. Photo, Craig Rember, Judd Foundation Archive 56 Summer 2011

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Such credibility was something that Judd not only brought to his own art but also recognized as a valuable asset in the art of others. geometric and mathematically based) compositions. Judd argued for an aesthetic ideal in which a work of art that renounced illusionism and familiar imagery would initially produce perceptual confusion and uncertainty that would ultimately be resolved—and made credible—by a viewer’s scrupulous 57 American Art (and perhaps skeptical) investigation of it through the senses. Judd argued that by forgoing two-dimensional media such as painting and by eschewing recognizable imagery. which were frequently industrially fabricated. For instance. “anthropomorphic”—principles.246 on Thu. given beforehand.Donald Judd’s Credibility Gap Robert Slifkin For Donald Judd. Throughout his early criticism. there was no criterion more important than credibility. what could be called his aesthetics of credibility. something credible can be made. unconventional materials. more real even.2 Judd applied this aesthetics of credibility in his own art through three principal means: nonhierarchical (i.e. which appeared primarily in the journals Arts Magazine and Art International during the early 1960s.. the artist was able to create works of art free from any preexisting taints of meaning so that they might appear as real and immediate as any other object in the world. 16 May 2013 14:07:02 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . he reserved this adjective for the art he most Volume 25. in an untitled work from 1963 (frontispiece) constructed of painted plywood and Plexiglas. published in 1965. a square form measuring approximately four feet on a side is “divided diagonally to a depth half its height” (as Marianne Stockebrand has described it) and placed on the gallery floor. In Judd’s words: “Because the nature of three-dimensions isn’t set. thus asserting its physical presence as an object within the viewer’s literal space. because it was unmediated by preconceived notions of what a work of art should be. in both his artistic production and criticism.3 By removing the familiar signifiers of aesthetic experience.” In this oft-cited text.”1 Drawing on his long-standing interest in British empiricist philosophy and its precepts regarding the sensory basis of knowledge.44. Judd sought to forge a new mode of perception that was more credible. and abandonment of any aesthetic borders such as pedestals for his floor pieces or frames for his wall-mounted works. in an essay entitled “Specific Objects. Number 2 © 2011 Smithsonian Institution This content downloaded from 156. Such objects would thus avoid what he called “the problem of illusionism” and could consequently transcend what he saw as the discredited tradition of European culture founded on universal humanist—in Judd’s terms.111. Judd outlined his artistic project.

one in which different moments called for different strategies of credibility. both in terms of manufacture (by the artist’s own hand) and materials (such as cadmium red oil paint. many of the artist’s earliest critics found the works perhaps too credible in their apparent allusions to everyday objects. He called Barnett Newman’s “openness and freedom . “credible” and “convincing” were analogous to more traditional terms of aesthetic judgment like “beautiful” and “admirable. Lee Bontecou’s wall reliefs “credible and awesome.6 If Judd’s art established its credibility in its material presence.admired. and. which encouraged scrupulous empirical judgment over historical precedent as a model of moral. Judd incorporated nontraditional objects—such as sections of pipes. As Judd became more financially successful and was able to realize his aesthetic goals more fully. which for him suggested the outdated tradition of easel painting. to condemn the legacy of European modernism. in the terms of his aesthetic theory.44. when the “credibility gap” between the government’s official presentation of the war and its reception within the media led to a growing suspicion 58 Summer 2011 and distrust among many citizens of the United States. their credibility. and philosophical existence. in the case of the untitled work from 1963. he endorsed an art of unprecedented immediacy. and many of his earliest sculptures preserve a certain degree of traditional artistry. fig. He noted that artists working in that mode need to “present some credible alternative. irrelevant. expression.” which he used more frequently than “credible” but usually regarding work he deemed of lesser quality. Judd was trained as a painter and printmaker. credibility was not simply a function of material presence or the denial of figurative associations but fundamentally a historically grounded factor.” asserting in the essay “Specific Objects” that “[Piet] Mondrian’s fixed platonic order is no longer credible. to a lesser extent. composition board. and. .”) Judd also used the term negatively. a rectangular plane of colored Plexiglas—to enhance his works’ nonfigurative and nonallusive visual quality or. which. . one reviewer described Judd’s art as “resembl[ing] storage units This content downloaded from 156.” (Slightly lower on Judd’s scale of aesthetic merit is the term “convincing. political. In 1964 he would further forgo the authorial hand by having small industrial firms fabricate the work according to his designs. In the place of this anthropomorphic tradition. polished brass and plywood as a means to downplay the handcrafted aspects of his work. Deliberately impersonal and unconventional. the “color is embedded in the material”).246 on Thu. a baking pan (embedded flush into a painted board of wood. with its accompanying principles of composition. had largely defined artistic practice since the Renaissance yet had become obsolete. they were exemplary agents in his project to make an art of material specificity and compositional lucidity. 1). and wood). made evident in his use of nontraditional art materials and rejection of recognizable imagery and conventional modes of display. Writing in 1964. One might say that within Judd’s critical lexicon. perhaps most ardently. geometric compositions and factureless. Robert Rauschenberg’s sculptures “credible and strong”. credible”.”4 For Judd. according to him.5 This central aspect of Judd’s art resonated with the anxiety caused by the Vietnam War in the 1960s. he drew more on nontraditional and especially industrial materials such as aluminum and stainless steel and. and composition. 16 May 2013 14:07:02 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . uniform coats of paint and to increase their material presence by eliminating bases.111. Yet just as the artist attempted to diminish signs of authorial intervention within these early works through simple. Because these materials offered a surface that required no additional alteration (as he put it. Judd’s art sought to foil humanistic notions of interpretation. and unbelievable in the post– World War II cultural landscape.

111. Gift of Barbara Rose © Judd Foundation / Licensed by VAGA. New York of an unidentifiable kind.” “bleachers. 48 1/8 x 36 1/8 x 4 in. nature of U. New York. or What Happened to the American Dream (1962). Photo © The Museum of Modern Art / Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource. in the case of the untitled work from 1963. Oil on composition board mounted on wood. New York. critics and dealers (but notably not the artist) gave many of his early works colloquial monikers as a way to identify them.7 Specific Objects in a Spectacular Society These nonart and occasionally commercial connotations of Judd’s avowedly impersonal and specific objects suggest not only how his artistic project corresponded with the contemporaneous practices of artists associated with pop but. how both strands of artistic production confronted the already burgeoning commodity culture of the 1960s. such as “record 59 American Art This content downloaded from 156.” “Kleenex box. Judd’s works. both styles addressed what was seen as the increasingly spectacular. 16 May 2013 14:07:02 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . New York.” while another declared that the artist’s 1968 retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art.” Intentionally exhibited as art objects occupying the same physical space as other objects and people in the world. Rather. 1 Donald Judd. looked like a “sciencefiction warehouse” filled with “gleaming hardware. journalism. with their nontraditional and occasionally sleek and unembellished “science-fiction” materials.246 on Thu. a state of affairs trenchantly diagnosed by Daniel Boorstin in The Image. more significantly.44.” In tandem with these insinuations that Judd’s artworks were little more than things. Relief. Although probably best known for the coinage of the term “pseudo event” to describe an event whose primary purpose is to be seen and reported on. which is to say image-ridden and visually manipulative.S.8 The nearly simultaneous arrival of both pop and minimal sensibilities.cabinet. seemed to allude to automobile bodies or domestic appliances rather than to most sculpture of their time.” or. The Museum of Modern Art. and interpersonal relationships. “step. with inset tinned steel baking pan. culture in the 1960s. especially in the New York art world in the early 1960s. Boorstin’s book more generally addressed the correspondence between what the author saw as an unprecedented increase in visual information in postwar society and the rise of an illusory and even deceptive component of everyday life—not only in such an expected realm as advertising but equally in politics. 1961. whether it was with industrial materials or advertising. reflects more than a coexistent engagement with the influence of mass culture.

the answer can only be arrived at by approaching the object and checking 60 Summer 2011 This content downloaded from 156. New York “Now. “More and more accustomed to testing reality by the image. . F-111. Rosenquist’s painting. 2). and Mrs. Alex L. Employing the scale of billboards and the pictorial vocabulary of print advertising.2 James Rosenquist. . especially as it was originally installed wrapping around three walls in the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York. we will find it hard to retrain ourselves so we may once again test the image by reality. twenty-three sections. the horizontal plane of purple Plexiglas in Judd’s work of 1963 (see frontispiece) provides an illusionistic (and technologically redolent) passage similar to the morphing forms Rosenquist painted on reflective aluminum panels. .” In the final pages the author presents the frightening prospect of a world in which the real can no longer be distinguished from the false. Oil on canvas and aluminum. 16 May 2013 14:07:02 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . . exposing part of the square base that supports the uppermost triangular form? As the conventional account of Judd’s art (and minimalism more generally) has demonstrated. is powerfully evoked in an exemplary pop work like James Rosenquist’s F-111 from 1964–65 (fig. The Museum of Modern Art. Gift of Mr. “we are threatened by a new and a peculiarly American menace. or is it a view through the translucent material into an interior space. reflective surface of Judd’s plastic stands out from the rest of the object’s matte cadmium red exterior. In this regard. 1964– 65. commodities.111. Rosenquist offers a surreal and particularly martial dreamscape in which modern technology and new industrial materials such as aluminum and chrome constitute both the deadliest of weapons and the most benign.”9 This image world. The threat of nothingness is the danger of replacing American dreams by American illusions. presents an unsettling and overwhelming vision of metamorphosis in which imagery of commodities evidently taken from advertisements uncannily fuses with an immense fighter plane. albeit in the autonomous sphere of aesthetics. New York. Judd sought to produce objects that could transcend this confusion. in the height of our power. Bliss Bequest (both by exchange) © James Rosenquist / Licensed by VAGA.246 on Thu. If Rosenquist’s work addresses the blurred relation between people and things in an overly commodified and technologically mediated world. investing his language throughout with a tone of impending danger. . if nonetheless alluring. It is the menace of unreality. The sensuous. as sleek and monochromic as the actual aluminum panels from which the pasta materializes) and then explosively tumbles out of a mushroom cloud both doubled and sheltered by a multicolored umbrella (which is itself echoed in the reflective missilelike dome of a hair dryer atop a small girl’s head). We must discover our illusions before we can even realize that we have been sleepwalking. In such unsettling passages as that in which a heap of Day-Glo spaghetti transforms into what appears to be a swatch of fabric (possibly bedsheets. New York. . in which the boundaries between the public and private spheres of experience (as well as the commercial and the political) melt away under the pressure of rampant commodification and technological mediation. 10 x 86 ft. Hillman and Lillie P. Photo © The Museum of Modern Art / Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource.” wrote Boorstin. declaring itself as the key passage in the work and presenting the beholder with a visual conundrum: Is the vague triangular form seen on the surface of the Plexiglas the reflection of the lower triangular form.44.

246 on Thu. Untitled. In a world of rampant commodification and media overload. Judd instead sought to create “specific objects” that aspired to be nonreferential things in themselves.” “disconcerting. Galvanized steel and red enamel. New York one’s visual sensations with one’s changing position in relation to it. 3). 1965. they created 61 American Art anxiety in many viewers who did not know how to approach them. revealing that what one sees is in fact a reflection. Walker Art Center. Judd’s art would furnish a space of perceptual credibility. Critical of traditional painting and sculpture that purported to be representations of things in the world.” Judd himself acknowledged that the industrial materials he valued for their “obdurate identity” also contained “aggressive” qualities. a very convincing natural illusion (as opposed to artificial illusions like representational imagery) and a quite mesmerizing one—like the ripples seen on the surface of a tree-lined lake—able to hold the viewer’s interest for an unexpectedly long time. minimal art like Judd’s sought a possible cure. one writer noted how “the massive. Situated within the actual space of the beholder rather than the idealized space of the pedestal or frame. For instance. 14 11/16 x 76 9/16 x 25 5/8 in.44. four-foot cubes” of “shining” steel that Judd showed at his Whitney retrospective in 1968 “are marshalled into strictest alignment. Field Memorial Acquisition © Judd Foundation / Licensed by VAGA.” Another reviewer of the same show provided a colloquial designation for one of Judd’s works by referring to the protuberances of a four-pronged work as “knuckles” (fig.12 Many of Judd’s critics found his work “aggressively physical.11 Because these works resisted traditional modes of aesthetic appraisal.13 This content downloaded from 156. the works offered themselves not as aesthetic objects for optical delectation but as real physical presences that impinged on the viewers’ spatial awareness.” “threatening. Harold D. 16 May 2013 14:07:02 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Critics often couched their descriptions of his works in explicitly martial metaphors.10 Such perceptual skepticism is rewarded with enlightenment. Minneapolis.111.” and even “belligerent.3 Donald Judd. It could be argued that if pop art diagnosed the symptomatic excess and confusion of a culture of spectacle.

an artist perhaps only second to Judd in embodying the minimal movement in both his passionate writings and wide-ranging artistic practice.Minatory Minimalism The recurring associations between Judd’s aesthetic project of credibility and the perceived aggressiveness of his work follow a pattern in the broader reception of minimal art in which the works were characterized using terms of violence and force. as would be any strange object. commending its “minatory power” and pointing out that it has to be viewed “with puzzlement and wariness. undoubtedly the most famous essay on minimalism. One of Judd’s contemporaries.246 on Thu.” Throughout the polemical essay. one of the first shows to present a representative body of minimalist art to the public.111. 4) that were described (again in the pages of Time) as “honed to the sharpness of a Viet Cong punji stick. and at most seen with terror. describing the “survival” of modern painting as a “conflict” in which objectlike works like Judd’s must be “defeated. the author suggests how the anxieties of war infused the critical reception of minimalism. Writing 62 Summer 2011 This content downloaded from 156.” Judd himself invoked such metaphors when commenting on the work of Lee Bontecou in a 1965 review. Fried invokes a passionately combative tone.44. as would be a beached mine or a well hidden in the grass.”15 In another foundational text of minimalism.” In his “Art and Objecthood” of 1967. Walter De Maria. exhibited a work called Bed of Spikes in 1969 made of 153 upright 11-inch obelisk-shaped spikes (fig. Annette Michelson’s catalogue essay for a 1969 retrospective of the work of Robert Morris.14 Reviewing the landmark Primary Structures exhibition of 1966 at the Jewish Museum in New York. Michael Fried stated that “there is a war going on between theatre [his term for the kind of literal art practiced by artists like Judd] and modernist painting. the critic for Time magazine described certain sculptures (presumably those of Ronald Bladen) as “tilt[ing] like huge destroyer smokestacks” and noted the “aggressive and sometimes playful” nature of the art in the show. 16 May 2013 14:07:02 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .

fiberglass and fluorescent light.44. however unintentionally. while an artist in residence at the Aspen Center for Contemporary Art. 18 1/8 x 24 5/8 in.S. written in 1991 in response to the U. 10 1/2 x 9/10 x 9/10 in. covering the text in the same gray paint that would become the artist’s signature color for his pieces a few years later. Sonnabend Gallery about an untitled work from 1965–66 constructed of a gray plywood circle with two bands of fluorescent light emanating from opposite sides (fig. October 22.246 on Thu. 2 1/2 x 78 1/2 x 41 1/2 in. December 14. New York. and North Vietnamese delegates. with obelisk-shaped spikes. “Almost no one 63 American Art This content downloaded from 156. 1968–69. A more direct.. South Vietnamese. 2 7 Robert Morris.. Sonnabend Gallery 6 “U. 1968. Smithsonian Institution 5 Robert Morris. Here Morris used characteristically minimalist tropes of formal reduction and negation of ostensible content literally to obliterate the subject of military violence. 16 May 2013 14:07:02 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .4 Installation view of Walter De Maria. and Hanoi Delegates Debate Table Design. Judd published a full-page announcement in the Aspen Times calling for an end to the war in Vietnam as well as a renewed commitment to civil rights in the United States. © Walter De Maria. General Acquisitions Fund and a matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts © Robert Morris / Artists Rights Society (ARS). Crisis #2. 1968 (though not included in Michelson’s essay). were at certain moments in their careers actively involved in the antiwar movement. Photo. one of thirteen such images. many artists. suggests how these spatial concerns found a strikingly similar materialization in Morris’s work and the minimal aesthetic more generally (fig. correspondence between the martial metaphors associated with minimalism and the artists’ biographies can therefore be posited. Archives of American Art. including Morris and Judd. announcing the alarming state of affairs brought on by the Cuban missile crisis. Recently art historian David Raskin has argued that Judd instilled his own vaguely anarchist (and consequently antiwar) politics into his artistic production through the visual sensitivity that his works engender. Photo. Judd’s undeniable awareness of the issues surrounding both the Vietnam War and nuclear weapons arguably allowed the artist to channel such anxieties in his work. The underlying political and specifically war-related content of Morris’s work during this period is most evident in Crisis #2 (fig. Morris roughly occluded the information given by the headline of the New York Post from Monday. Dwan Gallery.111. RM-330. The artist’s most explicit antiwar statement.”16 A diagram of proposed tables for the negotiations between U. New York. overall: 24 x 14 x 97 in.17 While it is understandable that the growing prevalence of war (and the threat of war) would permeate the critical discourse of various cultural spheres with references of these kinds. 1965–66. 1962. invasion of Kuwait and revealing his distrust of military power. Painted wood. Untitled (Ring with Light). 5). two units. Bed of Spikes. She demonstrates this point by citing the “prolonged debates over the design of the table and seating arrangements which preceded the opening of the current ‘peace talks’ in Paris. as reported in the New York Times during December 1968 and January of this year. arguing that such a spatially engaged artistic project exhibits a certain relevance to everyday life.” New York Times. published in the Times on December 14. 6). Mixed media on newspaper. Photo. declared. Michelson describes how Morris’s artwork energizes the space around it.S. That fall he participated in a benefit exhibition at the Paula Cooper Gallery in New York to raise money for the Student Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam. Dwan Gallery Records.18 In the summer of 1968. if complex. Collection of the artist © Robert Morris / Artists Rights Society (ARS). Dallas Museum of Art. Stainless steel. 1962. encouraging viewers to approach the world in a heightened state of skepticism and self-reliance. 7).S.

Photo. stenciled over the exits of the artillery shed. a situation devised to maintain that military state. 1982–86 (detail). D. a U.44. Texas. directed at the prisoners of war who were brought to the camp. Marfa. while ostensibly situated within the autonomous realm of aesthetics. This content downloaded from 156. nonetheless resonated with one of the central social and political concerns in U. as can 64 Summer 2011 be seen in the German words. the Chinati Foundation. Texas © Judd Foundation / Licensed by VAGA. Untitled. 8). as it is again. Army base with artillery sheds. New York.20 Although Judd claimed that the site’s previous military existence could hardly be deemed an architectural (let alone an ethical) virtue.246 on Thu. the establishment of the Chinati Foundation in Marfa. was closely associated not merely with the war in Vietnam but with global nuclear war. the oftentimes nontraditional and industrial materials Judd used to forge what he saw as a more credible art. ideal setting for the display of art (fig. Marfa. Using land that had earlier been occupied by Fort A. it could be argued that war marked both Judd’s first experience with construction and design when. as a member of the Army Corps of Engineers between 1946 and 1947. Judd redeveloped the base into a tightly controlled. culture at that time. 100 works in mill aluminum. he nevertheless allowed signs of the buildings’ history to remain unaltered. Permanent collection. and even inhuman qualities. Photo. and barracks. 16 May 2013 14:07:02 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . besides being a cornerstone of Judd’s art and aesthetic theory.111.S. Permanent collection. Judd’s pursuit of a more credible art. For the concept of credibility. prohibiting entry by unauthorized persons (fig. 9).21 More significant. Florian Holzherr in the United States has said that for fifty years the country has been a military state and that the ‘Cold War’ was.”19 Yet despite the artist’s ardent antiwar stance. Florian Holzherr 9 Artillery sheds interior. New York.8 Donald Judd. Texas © Judd Foundation / Licensed by VAGA. Russell. the Chinati Foundation. an aircraft hanger. he supervised the erection of prefabricated buildings in Korea.S. and his culminating artistic project. coupled with the elimination of framing devices and use of serial composition strategies (evident in the multiple variations of equally sized aluminum boxes displayed in the Chinati artillery shed). aggressive. invested the works with what many viewers considered threatening.

media need not insinuate any direct causal relationship. a world in which. addressing some of the most pressing national anxieties. “More than anything. 16 May 2013 14:07:02 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . “‘truth’ has been displaced by ‘believability. the problem is distilled into a single.”23 The phrase “credibility gap” had entered the lexicon of U.44. cryptic phrase: the credibility gap. with its aggressive connotations and rhetoric of industrial and technological objectivity.111.The Credibility Gap Credibility was a key word in the “new frontier” of the 1960s.24 While the shared nomenclature of Judd and the U. The central place of credibility in terms of such weighty matters was manifested in one of the definitive terms of the period.” they wrote.S. “Vietnam has made Americans question their fundamental assumptions about themselves and their country. In a special issue of Newsweek in July 1967 devoted to the escalating military predicament in Vietnam and its domestic consequences. it does imply how the artist’s work operated within the broader cultural concerns of the moment.S. politics the previous year as the nation’s increased involvement in Vietnam led many people to discern the drastic divergence between the administration’s generally optimistic assessment of the war and the usually gruesome images daily brought into homes via television and newspapers.’”22 by the second half of the decade the discourse surrounding credibility 65 American Art was no longer directed only at commodities and celebrities but also whole institutions. If the credibility gap between the reality and the mediated representation of the Vietnam War produced a growing sense of mistrust and unease among many citizens.246 on Thu. If in 1962 Boorstin diagnosed what he saw as the increasingly deceptive nature of everyday life in a mediated and commodified world. Judd’s credible art. and the fate of life on Earth. technology. as he put it. was able simultaneously to assuage if not temporarily mend the gap felt to be pervasive in American culture at large while at the same time (if largely unintentionally) figure the very basis of the anxiety that grounded his artistic practice of material specificity and credibility. In the jargony shorthand of the mid-1960s. This content downloaded from 156. the authors invoked a common phrase to summarize the social crisis brought about by the divisive feelings engendered by the war.

just as likely. According to this strategy. New York. spaces between. In fact. if clandestine. limited war in which the two superpowers could meet and demonstrate their power and determination without recourse to nuclear weapons.111. the war in Vietnam became a crucial component in this campaign of credibility: a conventional. [W]hatever the credibility of our threat of all-out war. overall: 116 1/2 x 24 x 27 in. the widening of the credibility gap corresponded to the expansion of the nuclear arms race. Once the United States had confronted its worst fears about nuclear war. Along with the space race and the continued.10 Donald Judd. new spheres of competition were constructed in which each country could present (and more particularly perform) its credibility. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Smithsonian Institution. . of which the communist threat in East Asia was the most visible and persistent example. Thus a psychological gap is created by the conviction of our allies that they have nothing to gain from massive retaliation and by the belief of the Soviet leaders that they have nothing to fear from our threat of it. Following this event. U. For to acknowledge the theoretical or even theatrical nature of such military actions would inherently invalidate their manifest rationales and in turn expose the lurking atomic unease underpinning this policy of deterrence. This doctrine of credibility was often couched in such theories as the domino effect. .S. such as the “bomber gap” and the “missile gap” of the late 1950s. To forestall further full-scale nuclear engagements with the Soviets. a phenomenon recognized as early as 1957 by Henry Kissinger. it is clear that all-out thermonuclear war does not represent a strategic option for our allies. it would lose its international credibility if called on to stave off further attacks. the threat of all-out war loses its credibility. . ten pieces. the entire world population.”26 Irreconcilable Paradox Judd’s aesthetic of credibility. founded on a faith in the undetermined and impersonal capacities of nontraditional and industrial materials in art making. 16 May 2013 14:07:02 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .”25 But an unbridgeable paradox existed within this logic and found its ultimate breaking point in the Vietnam War. coming as close as it ever had to its actual realization and in the process recognizing that to engage in such a war was to engage in a no-win operation of total annihilation.. “What the strategists of the Vietnam war had always most feared was not the reality of defeat but the appearance of defeat. who as Study Director in Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy at the Council of Foreign Relations wrote. nuclear brinkmanship. with 6 in. which expressed in material terms the competitive arms race between the United States and the USSR. According to Schell. Washington sought a foreign policy that suppressed the possibility of nuclear war by transferring the competition between the superpowers away from each other and toward arenas in which they could clash without recourse to the bomb. Brass and colored fluorescent Plexiglas on steel brackets. Hirshhorn © Judd Foundation / Licensed by VAGA. “As the power of modern weapons grows.44. and what they most wanted in Vietnam was not victory but victory’s image. which historian Jonathan Schell calls the “unvarying dominant goal of the foreign policy of the 66 Summer 2011 United States” between 1961 and 1974..246 on Thu. citizens confronted the staggering realization that a nuclear conflict could readily bring about not only the total destruction of the two embattled nations but. These gaps found their frightening resolution in October 1962 during the Cuban missile crisis. Photo. Lee Stalsworth The credibility gap of the Vietnam War was genealogically linked to earlier gaps in Cold War discourse. which argued that if the United States showed lack of resolve when one small country was threatened by communism. 1969. contained its own irreconcilable paradox whose logic in many ways paralleled the contradictory tensions motivating the credibility gap within American This content downloaded from 156. Untitled. each piece: 6 1/8 x 24 x 27 in. Gift of Joseph H. the real crisis of nuclear war could be successfully avoided only by the creation of unreal and largely symbolic crises.

the burnished brass surfaces of an untitled stack from 1969 (fig. very nearly psychedelic swirls of colors and shapes. found this aspect of the works both crucial and disconcerting in that it seemed to contradict Judd’s aesthetics of credibility and the objective rhetoric of his chosen materials. and translucent materials. through their reflective surfaces. presenting the reflected environment as soupy. many viewers. Despite the artist’s avowed assertion of the empirical objectivity of such perceptual illusions.246 on Thu. shadowy recesses. nonetheless include instances of lived or perceptual illusion produced by their factureless and perfectly tooled surfaces. in addition. Similarly. 16 May 2013 14:07:02 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . powerfully illuminated by a crimson glow produced by light passing vertically through translucent Plexiglas sheets.44.28 Within the nebulous reflections and shadowy spaces of Judd’s otherwise specific objects resides a forbidding doubt as to whether such seemingly objective materials (because of their frequent connotations of industrial production and technological precision) could indeed transcend the variable and unreliable realm of human action and perception and. the towerlike space cumulatively formed by the stacked units. especially in the 1960s. For instance. The crisply defined edges and corners of the uncompromisingly self-evident materials offer a beholder no perceptual place of rest.culture more broadly. 10) seem to puncture any sense of geometric stability engendered by the work’s rigid rectangular structures. 67 American Art This content downloaded from 156. Judd associated such perceptual or real optical illusions with scientific repeatability in that the artist believed each viewer would experience the same optical illusion similarly. While deliberately eschewing any form of visual illusion (in that they do not represent something beyond themselves). whether such transcendence was even in the best interest of mankind. many of Judd’s works.27 As Richard Shiff has recently noted.111.

Brass. Untitled . (In some previous iterations of stacks from the early 1960s. as in the wedge-shaped piece from 1963 (see frontispiece).11 Donald Judd. can the specific construction of the stacks be ascertained and can the viewer actually see that each of the brass units has Plexiglas on both the top and bottom.44. when the viewer bends over and then looks up to see inside the work. New York. Gift of Philip Johnson © Judd Foundation / Licensed by VAGA. that is. reviewing an exhibition of Judd’s work at the Castelli Gallery in 1970. New York produces an equally compelling visual ambiguity. 16 May 2013 14:07:02 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . described the ambiguities produced by a single-unit piece made 68 Summer 2011 This content downloaded from 156. Because of the technical flawlessness with which this work was constructed and because of its serial regularity. The Museum of Modern Art. Photo © The Museum of Modern Art / Licensed by SCALA /  A rt Resource. 22 x 48 1/4 x 36 in. New York. the light seems to corrode the Plexiglas sheets. Again. 1968.246 on Thu.111. only when the beholder actively looks at the piece. Judd put Plexiglas only on the bottom of each unit). Robert Pincus-Witten. creating the convincing illusion that nothing encloses either the top or the bottom of the boxes.

246 on Thu. While it seems likely that Judd invoked such illusionism to heighten the viewer’s sensitivity and skepticism. or gap—one that operated within the same technological anxiety that ultimately underlined the larger discourse of credibility in American culture. deception. and mediation. 11). and that the perceptual ambiguities produced by Judd’s art reveal the artist’s “deep need to protect and reinvent the integrity of the Cubist and Constructivist vernacular at the moment when the great tradition of the Cubist monolith is most particularly assailed by the decorative appeals of technological intermedia.” According to Pincus-Witten.44. the process was less technological or even industrial than artisanal (since it was typically carried out by small.” demonstrate the artist’s “particularly coercive” engagement with the spectator. Noting the material’s “apparent absence of solidity—the sense of liquidity—it induces. how “There are views. brutalist. local firms like Bernstein This content downloaded from 156. threatening) postmodern landscape of technological and commercial mediation. There are other views in which the sides appear translucent rather than reflective. Apocalyptic Technology Many of Judd’s best works from the 1960s exhibit this seemingly paradoxical dialectic of credible materiality and an unhinged perceptual and illusory experience. when he had his works fabricated outside his studio. Pincus-Witten contends that Judd’s artworks can be considered “intransigeant barricades” against the blurring of art and life epitomized by artists like Robert Rauschenberg and John Cage. for example. if modernist painting and Judd’s minimalist objects were involved with what many commentators took to be a visual environment of technologically based spectacle. “forcing him into altered relationships with an elemental. Judd himself never proclaimed any particular interest in technology. such effects. the perceptual ambiguity consistently produced by the ostensibly impartial materials he chose suggests a certain aporia.30 That is to say. 16 May 2013 14:07:02 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . at moments. within his aesthetics of credibility.”29 Like much of the fervently formalist criticism that was marshaled to understand the art of the 1960s (especially in the pages of Artforum). as if one saw the floor through the side rather than reflected off it. formal vocabulary. which he sees in formalistic terms as Judd’s attempt to reconcile “pictorial and sculptural experience.” the critic enumerated the perceptual paradoxes of the work. Just as Fried could state in 1965 that such seemingly autonomous and arguably academic modernist painting as Kenneth Noland’s or Jules Olitski’s was “more desperately involved with aspects of its visual environment than painting has ever been. appears flush with the sides.of brass (fig.” Invoking the martial metaphors frequently found in writings about minimal art.” Pincus-Witten’s attempt to situate Judd’s art within the modernist 69 American Art trajectory of flatness and autonomy (as a means to evade being “assailed” by “technological intermedia”) reveals the works’ significant (if negative) relationship with the burgeoning (and. of the polished brass box. with its ardent anti-illusionism and foundational empiricism.111. the invocation of illusion in these works (as in the vibrating tonalities of color field paintings like Noland’s and the perceptual ambiguities of Judd’s art) would figure the very world of illusion they sought to counter and simultaneously defy it through an obdurate attentiveness to the essential qualities of their chosen medium or materials. for certain artists and critics alike. this analysis insinuates the historical pressures informing such art and its critical reception without ever addressing them head-on. and even after 1964. in which the recessed top is simply denied.

are becoming our present competitors. Reviewing an exhibition held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1969 that explored modern art’s relationship to technology.246 on Thu. Such sentiments were perhaps most clearly and famously expressed by philosopher Herbert Marcuse in his 1955 study Eros and Civilization. Photo. 1968) Photofest © MGM. in which he described one of the central features of “late industrial civilization” as “the fact that the destruction of life (human and animal) has progressed with the progress of civilization.12 Appearance of the monolith during solar eclipse in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (MGM. 16 May 2013 14:07:02 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . As the new technology that brought about the revolution in consumer culture during the postwar years began to be associated with specifically military and nuclear projects (as evinced in Rosenquist’s F-111). his art. mediating experience and even holding the fate of humankind in the balance. a widespread fear emerged in American culture that the very technological precision and progress that kept the country safe and made 70 Summer 2011 people’s lives easier would be the same force that might ultimately destroy civilization. with its technical precision and frequent use of unconventional materials and its capacity to seem to insert itself within the viewer’s physical space. Kevin Bray 13 Missile launcher in Earth’s orbit in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (MGM. the machines.”33 This fateful relation This content downloaded from 156. the human intervention necessary to enable it instigates a problematic doubling that cancels any possible detachment. Kevin Bray Brothers or trained craftsmen working in a traditional workshop setting). when technology seemed an increasingly inescapable presence in everyday life. Producing irrational reflections and perceptual ambiguities when encountered by a mobile human subject. Photo.111. critic Max Kozloff diagnosed the growing “fear that our one-time extensions. led many viewers to regard it as concurrently futuristic and threatening. the question concerning man’s relation to technology became especially critical.44. that control and responsibility are becoming too vulnerably compressed. Judd’s art exposes the Achilles heel of technological objectivity: no matter how impersonal and objective a technology is. Nonetheless. 1968) Photofest © MGM. and that increased services by our goods and systems tend more to regulate than to liberate us.32 During the 1960s. that cruelty and hatred and the scientific extermination of men have increased in relation to the real possibility of the elimination of oppression.”31 The credibility gap in Judd’s art speaks to this crucial anxiety regarding the role of technology in American culture in the 1960s. making the object an inevitable “extension of man” (to borrow Marshall McLuhan’s description of technology).

The relation between minimal art and this daunting technological sublime plays a central role in Stanley Kubrick’s follow-up to Dr. the Vietnam War. Strangelove (both 1964). 12).246 on Thu. is thrown into the air. the same technological anxieties found a ready materialization in the realities of Vietnam. recently discovered to be a valuable weapon by the proto-humans who touched the monolith. war without death. was considered. 16 May 2013 14:07:02 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . And while the technical precision of Judd’s art resonated with the discourse of technological millenarianism grounded in the threat of nuclear war. Judd.35 71 American Art Judd’s Cold War Monuments Reconciling the apparent contradiction between Judd’s aesthetics of credibility and the illusionistic effects produced by many of his chosen materials provides a possible means of understanding not only the opposition between the taciturn austerity of minimalism and the increasingly turbulent social environment of the 1960s but. Strangelove.” thus applying the same technocratic ideology of nuclear war to a limited. a film whose meticulous production values and innovative special effects. memorably morphing into an astronautical nuclear missile carrier and thus.111.37 This content downloaded from 156. as David Halberstam defined it. if understood in terms of the works’ capacity to concurrently reflect and assuage the imperative issues surrounding war and technology. as described in Arthur C. advances the film’s narrative from the “Dawn of Man” to the opposite and equally perilous end of humankind’s existence (fig. Clarke’s accompanying novel. produced works of art that were not so much critiques of the military industrial complex as complex meditations on its inherent contradictions and its relation to the larger culture. particularly in the years of minimalism’s heyday between 1964 and 1968. leading the writers for Newsweek to describe it as “the most depersonalized war America has ever fought. it also provides one possible explanation for minimalism’s ascendancy as the prevailing artistic style throughout the 1960s and 1970s. “a technological war. through this famous edit. staving off the inevitable extinction of mankind from an extensive drought).44. After apparently bestowing the first human beings with consciousness (and. who saw his art as political in terms of its ability to encourage a clearer perception and heightened skepticism in the viewer and who repeatedly articulated an antiwar position in his public life. in which the combination of human error and technical intransigence (evident in the fail-safe technology that supposedly removed the possibility of human error) lead the human race on a one-way course to extinction. his 2001: A Space Odyssey from 1968. non-nuclear war. a war which could be fought antiseptically. the technological essence of this Primary Structure is revealed when a bone.”36 Supervised by statistical masterminds like Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.”34 The correlation between technological millenarianism and precisely wrought surfaces of minimal art is materialized in the mysterious black monolith that appears in the opening scenes of the film (fig.between man and machinery was played out with respective horror and humor in movies like Fail Safe and Dr. a war in which computers and systems analysis were used to assess the most effective military strategies. which invite a particularly corporeal mode of spectatorship.” such as “a new inter-continental missile system. Michelson described the movie’s elaborate and costly production as an enterprise analogous to “the proud marshalling of vast resources brought to bear upon the most sophisticated and ambitious ventures of our culture. 13). led Annette Michelson to compare it to a minimalist “Primary Structure” by invoking the exhibition of the same name of two years before.

” provides a crucial link between the fear of technology out of control.” “Despite the vocal torment of U.246 on Thu. it was in many ways pro-peace.” In this regard.” wrote the editors of Newsweek.44. science fiction surfaces of Flash Gordon bank vaults. described by critic John Perreault in 1967 as containing “the implied IBM numerology and the icy.S.38 Considering the well-documented tendency to marginalize violence within the public sphere. nuclear policy.S. cool art found a ready audience. and the similar sense of political alienation and impotence that accompanied the country’s seemingly headlong advance into Vietnam—what Paul Goodman in 1966 called “the psychology of being powerless. “Vietnam’s contribution to the pop psyche has been uncommonly small. 16 May 2013 14:07:02 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .Judd’s art. the mute surfaces that contained within them a lurking sense of threat spoke to both the anomie and the aggression that defined much of 1960s culture in the United States.S. “it sometimes seems that America is doing its best to suppress awareness of the distant war.111. induced in part by U. suggesting that if minimal art was not antiwar. which hit the newsstands at the same time as the issue of Artforum dedicated to sculpture and featuring such landmark essays as Morris’s “Notes on Sculpture 3” and Fried’s “Art and Objecthood. intellectuals.”40 The fact that 72 Summer 2011 This content downloaded from 156.” Such was the verdict of the writers for the special issue of Newsweek dedicated to the war. there is in fact no necessary contradiction between the rise of minimalism and America’s escalating involvement in Vietnam.39 One could even argue that it was precisely because of the growing violence and uncertainty in U. culture that such a hermetic.

Charles Diamond.S. 11 in. Judd. true to his aesthetics of unmediated perception. Canada. and Mr. 23 ft. Gordon Diamond © The George and Helen Segal Foundation / Licensed by VAGA. Va. Vancouver Art Gallery 16 William Morris Smith. Dedication of the Battle Monument. insinuated into his art the emotional affects of such weapons rather than their visual appearance. Bull Run. The Execution . Library of Congress. D. 1969.14 Claes Oldenburg. 96 x 132 x 96 in. George Segal’s Execution (fig.246 on Thu. In his attempt to transcend what he saw as the irrational legacy of Western civilization through a faith in empirical objectivity. Mr. most notably the bodies of slain soldiers that could not be properly buried. or. Judd’s sculpture sought to counter a corresponding “credibility gap” between the known perceptual world and the assumed world of predigested images and ideas with objects of unwavering literalness. x 24 ft. and Mrs.C. citizens were beginning to question the integrity of their government’s policies both overseas and at home. 1865. 1967. manifested in most extreme terror in an all-out nuclear war). Vancouver Art Gallery. Gift of Colossal Keepsake Corporation © Claes Oldenburg. which elegantly distills the ungainly realities of war. Judd nonetheless produced art that equally bears the traces of war. aluminum. even as he made markers for a country unsure of its ideals and suspicious of heroism. Like the cenotaph built in honor of the Union dead located on the Bull Run battlefield in Manassas. more explicitly. Yale University Art Gallery.42 In his art from the 1960s Judd revitalized the neglected tradition of sculptural monuments. 16 May 2013 14:07:02 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Gift of Mr.111. into a unified and resolute (and notably nonobjective) form. 6 in. such violent connotations were carried in such mute vessels places Judd’s objects within a long tradition of aesthetic representations during times of war that sublimated violence in the name of some kind of ideological unity. 14). Judd’s art conceals the anxieties of new technology that found their most pressing articulation in modern warfare under a stolid and silent surface. As in almost all war monuments. x 10 ft. Judd’s work occupied a position of both resistance and reflection. 10 1/2 in.43 73 American Art This content downloaded from 156. 4). De Maria’s Bed of Spikes (see fig. the violent content of Judd’s art is subsumed in the name of compositional unity and ideological closure. Plaster. The paradoxical duality in his art—appearing simultaneously cool and confrontational—found a ready audience in a society engaged in a war that people increasingly distrusted and felt powerless to change. While other artists of the period produced works that explicitly evoked martial motifs. Created at a moment when a growing number of U. such as Claes Oldenburg’s uncanny tank with a lipstick cannon (fig. By assertively placing the onus of perceptual experience on the viewer. Photo courtesy the Oldenburg van Bruggen Foundation 15 George Segal. 15). New York. Washington.44. and Mrs. Cor-Ten steel. while simultaneously registering the anxiety of the historical conditions in which his work was produced. coated with resin and painted with polyurethane enamel. Photo. 16). Virginia (fig. Jack Diamond. Prints and Photographs Division. Lipstick (Ascending) on Caterpillar Tracks. and Mrs. which was illustrated in the Newsweek issue on Vietnam in a section about artistic responses to the war.41 Within the nexus of technology and military violence that permeated American culture in the 1960s. Judd’s art produced a stark (and at times threatening) correlative to the uneasiness felt by many viewers concerning the escalating war in Vietnam (and perhaps the larger dread of unbridled technology.

17 The subject of war became a major theme in Morris’s oeuvre.” October 54 (Fall 1990): 3–17. 16 Annette Michelson.44. 8 David Batchelor persuasively demonstrates how Judd’s use of color. “Art. “Judd’s Moral Art. John Perreault. reprinted in Complete Writings. “Allusion and Illusion in Donald Judd. “Minimalism and the Rhetoric of Power. commodified objects—in an attempt to restore the immediacy of experience. “An Interview with Don Judd. 1973).” suggesting that he recognized such allusiveness as an inherent vice of these works.” in Serota. “Specific Objects. in Serota. 222–35. and Andrew Preston.” Village Voice. While Judd emphasized the optical aspects of his art.” Art News 57 (October 1958): 24–26. 55–57. “Judd at the Whitney. March 10. Nicholas Serota (London: Tate Gallery. Dutton & Co. “Everything Sculpture Has”.. 19. 11 Rosalind Krauss provides a similar reading of minimal art in “The Cultural Logic of the Late Capitalist Museum.” 43.” Arts 37 (January 1963). 65–75. 1975).” 2 For a discussion on Judd’s relation with British empiricism. March 7. Most notably. deeply gendered ways in which minimal art presented itself and was received as aggressive and powerful. Judd seems amenable to the critic’s reference to one work as “the ladder piece. In an interview with John Coplans from 1971. “Everything Sculpture Has. All of Judd’s works were untitled. ed. 1968.” in Donald Judd. Report on a Phenomenon.. 1966. For the artist’s position on the political aspects of his art. Press. 1 Donald Judd. 64. or What Happened to the American Dream (New York: Atheneum. Mellow. 240.: Corcoran Gallery of Art. Many of the major figures of British empiricism used the term “credible” in their central writings. See Batchelor. Jane Harrison Cone. For a discussion of how the minimalist practice of serialism operated within a similar logic of industrial production found in the pop art of the time. 86. who commented on drafts. 50.” 3 Marianne Stockebrand. especially in his choice of Plexiglas. 135. P. Statements. Letters to the Editor. yet many of them. 1968.246 on Thu. 5 David Raskin. 78 n.” Arts 38 (February 1964): 20. 4 Judd. 6 John Coplans. 261. 1969).” Studio International (April 1969): 168. D. Judd. 1962). 2004). 54. 15 “Art. 179. who brought the concept of the credibility gap to my attention. “Notes on Sculpture. On Morris’s engagement with the politics of the Vietnam War. “Plastic Ambiguities. see Maurice Berger. 81. and Alexander Nemerov. I would also like to thank Jeffrey Saletnik. Minimalism: Art and Polemics in the Sixties (New Haven: Yale Univ. ed. “The Legacy of Jackson Pollock. for her invitation to write. Mellow. 1959– 1975: Gallery Reviews. The most well-known example of this argument can be found in Allan Kaprow. 16 May 2013 14:07:02 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . reprinted in Battcock. The other reference is a negative one (184): “Painting and sculpture have become set forms. 258. Reports. Minimal Art. For an early discussion of the role of technology and industrial fabrication in Judd’s oeuvre. “Robert Morris: An Aesthetics of Transgression. My thanks to Jennifer Gross.” in Robert Morris (Washington. “An Interview with Don Judd.e. Michael Fried. 10 The clearest statement of the role of bodily movement in minimalism is Robert Morris. 23. the ones the artist made himself). reprinted in Complete Writings. February 19. “Everything Is Colour. “Art: Constructed to Donald Judd’s Specifications.” in Serota. Complaints (Halifax: Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. 41–43. reprinted in Collected Writings.” Arts 64 (January 1990): 44–63. 184. D21. The Image.” Artforum 6 (May 1968): 39. 176. 18. 14 Anna Chave. May 2. in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). “Art and Objecthood. 9 Daniel Boorstin. My Work Doesn’t.” Artforum 9 (June 1971): 45.” Time. “Lee Bontecou. “Specific Objects. compelling readings highlighting this bodily engagement have been formulated in Rosalind Krauss. demonstrated in his 1964 dance performance War and continuing in a large body of work from the 1980s and 1990s such as the Firestone Series (1982–83) and Restless Sleepers / Atomic Shroud (1991). 24. Gregory Battcock (New York: E. “Minimalism seems to have been conceived in specific resistance to the fallen world of mass culture—with its disembodied media images—and of consumer culture—with its banalized. according to her argument.” Arts 41 (March 1967): 26. June 3. in her groundbreaking essay. John Perreault. see his statement in “The Artist and Politics: A Symposium. see David Raskin. curator of contemporary art at that gallery.C.” Artforum 9 (September 1970): 36–37. James R.” Artforum 5 (June 1967): 12–23. 74 Summer 2011 This content downloaded from 156. 7 Sidney Tillim. 92.” New York Times. 13 Barbara Reise.” “In the Galleries [Robert Rauschenberg]. A fair amount of their meaning isn’t credible. often had industrial and specifically automotive connotations.Notes Research for this essay began as part of a shorter article in the Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin. “Specific Objects. Art and the Future: A History / Prophecy of the Collaboration between Science. “Donald Judd. Donald Judd.” Arts 39 (April 1965).” 12 A similar blurring between art and life was posthumously attributed to the paintings of Jackson Pollock. 176. see Meyer.” Time. Judd. catalogue entry for Untitled (1963). see Douglas Davis. 2001).” Arts Yearbook 8 (1965): 74–82 and 183. Minimalism.111. Donald Judd.” New York Times.” Raskin notes that Judd quotes a passage of Locke’s book (without citation) in his essay “Specific Objects. Jesse Hamilton. were given colloquial names to identify them. 65. 1969. John Locke. 202. 185–88. For a discussion of the application of these “sobriquets. 280 n. used the word “credibility” twenty-two times in the chapter “Extent of Human Knowledge. Technology and Art (New York: Praeger.” reprinted in Minimal Art: A Critical Anthology.” Artforum 4 (May 1966): 24–26. “Untitled 1969: A Footnote on Art and Minimal– Stylehood.” see James Meyer. Part I. “The New Avant-Garde. 1968). demonstrated the underlying and. especially the early plywood works from 1962 to 1964 (i. Coplans. “Union Made. noting (10). Book Reviews.” 80. Articles. Hilton Kramer.” Arts 37 (May–June 1963). Donald Judd. 1966. “In the Galleries [Lee Bontecou].

1966. July 10. 33 Max Kozloff. 236. 2007). New York: Vintage. For a contemporaneous discussion on the tendency to marginalize public violence. 150–86. Jack Flam (Berkeley: Univ.” in Serota. The Space of Death: A Study of Funerary Architecture. the new monuments seem to cause us to forget the future. War and Cinema: The Logistics of Perception. 24 The first appearance of the term in the New York Times occurred in John D. 75 American Art This content downloaded from 156. 14–18. see Frank Ninkovich. Tex. On Violence (New York: Harcourt.: MIT Press.” New York Times. “Wilsonianism at Work: Credibility Crises of the 1950s and 1960s. “The Inevitable Credibility Gap. 36 “A Nation at Odds. Miller. See Clarke. Marianne Stockebrand (Marfa.” 19. 1976). Donald Judd.” in The Human Meaning of Social Change.” Life. ed.” Artforum 4 (June 1966). see Urs Peter Flückiger. 50–56. 18 David Raskin.S. Minimal Art. see Joshua Shannon. 26 Henry Kissinger. 2004). The Time of Illusion (New York: Alfred A. See her “Allusion and Illusion in Donald Judd. “Donald Judd. 42 Surveys done during the 1960s identified a steady decline in the general public’s trust in government and sense of its political efficacy. 79. 107–23. 41 See Michel Ragon. 1966. 40 “A Nation at Odds. Safe from Birds. The Best and the Brightest (New York: Random House. “Bodies in Space: Film as Carnal Knowledge. See Tom Wicker. see Paul Virilio. Jovanovich. The Image. 25 Jonathan Schell.” Newsweek. reprinted in Art and Objecthood (Chicago: Univ. 30 Michael Fried. 35 The specific nuclear connotations of the movie are made explicit in Arthur C. 1967. and specifically nuclear arms.111. 1967. November 3. Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud (1955. Press. Brace. see Philip E.” Smithson. see Leo Bersani and Ulysee Dutoit. 1998). January 12. and the 1960s (New York: Harper and Row.” 28 Richard Shiff. written in collaboration with Kubrick’s film. Decoration. trans. 183–214. ed. in Chinati: The Vision of Donald Judd. “The Credibility Gap. “The Forms of Violence.246 on Thu. see Nicolas Serota. 1983). 34 Annette Michelson. reprinted in Battcock. 16. 1967. Chronophobia: On Time in the Art of the 1960s (Cambridge. in association with Yale Univ. On Judd’s relation to technology. 56. see Hannah Arendt. Robert Smithson detected what he called “a new kind of monumentality” in the work of a group of young artists associated with the minimalist movement (singling out Judd): “Instead of causing us to remember the past like the old monuments. On the former military uses of the Chinati site. Donald Judd: Architecture in Marfa.” Village Voice. 1966. 1996). 2009). 2003). 1972). 1970). 32. Donald Judd. “The ‘Credibility Gap’ Widens in Massillon. Press. 29 Robert Pincus-Witten. of California Press.” American Political Science Review 68 (September 1974): 951. of Chicago Press. noting in particular how Judd rejected pictorial illusion but emphasized lived or perceptual illusion. 22 Boorstin. foreign policy. 1989). 226. “Specific Opposition: Judd’s Art and Politics. 20 For a discussion of Judd’s experiences as a civil engineer in Korea. August 2. 134. reprinted in Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings. Paul Goodman. 23 “A Nation at Odds. Foreign Policy since 1900 (Chicago: Univ. 16 May 2013 14:07:02 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and in particular the modernization of New York City. and Urbanism. of Virginia Press. Peter Noever (Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz. 1988). 513.O. 32. 1957). 49. 38 John Perreault. Mass.” in Donald Judd. Judd in Marfa between 1971–1994.” Artforum 7 (February 1969): 56. 37–81. and Kenneth Crawford. 272–86. The Disappearance of Objects (New Haven: Yale Univ. January 16. Converse.” Artforum 8 (June 1970): 48. 1962). 43 Writing in 1966. For a comprehensive analysis of the diplomatic use of credibility in postwar U. 31 Herbert Marcuse. Ohio: A Town’s Troubled Mood as a War Comes Home.” March 18. 41–42.” in The Wilsonian Century: U. 260. 1993). Knopf. 1964). “Change in the American Electorate. 259. “Nie Wieder Krieg. “Three American Painters” (1965). 27 Rosalind Krauss was perhaps the first critic to recognize the illusory qualities of Judd’s art. New York: Penguin.” Artforum 7 (February 1969): 23. August 12. 30. 1972). 21 For Judd’s account of his purchase of Fort Russell and ambivalence about the site’s previous incarnation. see Pamela Lee. “Men and Machines.” in Serota. For instance. Patrick Camiller (London: Verso. ed. ed. Texas (Basel: Birkhäuser.” 19. Alan Sheridan (Charlottesville: Univ.: Chinati Foundation. in the final paragraphs of the novel. and the culture of spectacle. 66. By August of that year it had become a headline topic.” Art History 24 (November 2001): 682–706. esp. Angus Campbell and Converse (New York: Russell Sage Foundation. 39 On the representation of violence in the Western tradition. 2009). Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (New York: McGraw-Hill. Morris. “Fining It Down: Don Judd at Castelli. For a discussion of the relation between Fried’s aesthetic theory and the rise of information theory in the 1960s. 10–11. 98–110. the Star Child detonates “the circling megatons” of “a slumbering cargo of death” orbiting Earth.” October 8 (Spring 1979): 17–29. 37 David Halberstam. Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy (New York: Harper & Brothers. see Donald Judd. trans. 19 Donald Judd. Clarke’s novel. cited in Arthur H. Minimalism. 32 Marshall McLuhan.44. “Donald Judd: A Sense of Place. 1966. 341.Labyrinths: Robert Morris. Architecture. “The Psychology of Being Powerless. Chiefs Score Use of Statistics.P. “Political Issues and Trust in Government: 1964– 1970. For an insightful discussion on the relationship between war. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968. of Chicago Press.” Newsweek. “No One Has Clearly Pointed Out. “Entropy and the New Monuments.S. “Artillery Sheds” (1989).” New York Review of Books. “G. 17. 1999).

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