[June 21 2017]
It’s not surprising that Donald Judd and Kazimir Malevich come together to inaugurate the additional Galerie Gmurzynska space at Talstrasse 37 in Zurich. Judd was first asked by the gallery in 1992 to show his works side by side with the works of the Russian Suprematist, who died in 1935. The Moscow Installation opened on March 5th, 1994 at the Galerie Gmurzynska in Cologne. Sadly Judd died only weeks before the opening, and so it became his last exhibition. The current show now on in Zurich was curated by Judd’s son and artist Flavin Judd and examines their similarities, not only on art but in theory and spirit. The works brings together eight sculptures and seven pieces of furniture by Judd and two paintings and 20 figurative watercolors by Malevich. Most notable is the vibrant and pure red sculpture “Untitled” (1990) by Judd.
What is surprising to take away from the show was that Judd was an art essayist, more precisely he wrote about the Russian avant-garde on artists like Kandinsky, Malevich and the movement as a whole. In an essay, featured in the Galerie Gmurzynska‘s new in-depth book Judd / Malevich, Judd admires Malevich’s works shown in the Guggenheim Museum in 1955, he wrote:
“It’s obvious now that the forms and colors in the paintings that Malevich began painting in 1915 are the first instances of form and color. It was obvious to Malevich…Before 1915 no form, color, surface, anything, existed as itself. The main development in painting in the nineteenth century is toward the independence of these things. After Malevich the development is of that independence…With and since Malevich the several aspects of the best art have been single, like unblended Scotch. Free.”
Donald Judd Text, © 2017 Judd Foundation, Courtesy Galerie Gmurzynska, taken from the book Judd / Malevich, 2017, available at the gallery.
JUDD / MALEVICH is on view until September 15th, 2017 at Galerie Gmurzynska, Talstrasse 37, Zurich
Photo Sonja Berta