Following a three year renovation, the Judd Foundation—the SoHo home and studio of the late artist Donald Judd—will open to the public on June 3, and is sure to become a New York destination for art and design enthusiasts. The building includes works by Jean Arp, Carl Andre, Larry Bell, John Chamberlain, Marcel Duchamp, Dan Flavin, Frank Stella, and others, all installed by Judd, alongside furniture and art by the artist/owner.
A team of specialists approached the building with reverence and care. New York firm Architectural Research Office (ARO) lead the project and the renovation of the interior; Walter Melvin Architect masterminded the dismantling, restoration, and reinstallation of the cast iron facade, which was engineered by Robert Silman Associates; and Arup supplied museum quality mechanical engineering. “Everyone realized it was a once in a lifetime project,” said Adam Yarinsky, principal at ARO.
Mauricio Alejo; Rainer Judd; Mauricio Alejo
“The rationale was to preserve the space as Judd created it, as a place to view art,” continued Yarinsky. “We put in everything that a modern building requires with as light a hand as possible.” This included an enclosed fire stair, updated elevator, new offices for the foundation located in the basement, as well as state of the art mechanical systems, and new windows.
Each floor of the Spring Street building is distinct, and served different functions—a gallery, dining room, study, salon, sleeping area—offering a glimpse into how Judd lived, worked, and socialized. “It’s a place where you can experience his work directly,” Yarinsky said.
Rainer Judd; Joshua White
Tickets will be limited and offered through a timed process, as the building can only legally accommodate two groups of eight at a time.
Visiting the building is nothing less than transporting, simultaneously to the private world of Judd and his contemporaries, as well as to a mid 20th century Soho artist community, and to the 19th century, when the building was first completed. The rustic quality of the space—its wavy glass windows and wood burning stove, its well worn floors and streaming natural light—provide a rich and unexpected setting for the works, many of which are associated with the development of minimalism. In a world of white box galleries and corporatized museums, the Judd Foundation is a vivid reminder of the human impulse behind the creation of seminal art and artistic movements.