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What Malevich and Judd had in common

Exhibition at Galerie Gmurzynska in Zurich reunites the artists' works for first time since 1994

by Amah-Rose Abrams  |  5 June 2017
What Malevich and Judd had in common
Donald Judd, Untitled (89-04) (1988) and Kazimir Malevich's Kazimir Malevich, Painterly Realism of a Peasant Woman in Two Dimensions (1915) (Image: Courtesy of Galerie Gmurzynska)
An exhibition opening at Galerie Gmurzynska in Zurich this weekend puts the artists’ work side by side at the gallery for the first time since 1994 (Judd/ Malevich, until 15 September). Judd exhibited his work alongside Malevich’s when the gallery was still based in Cologne. Titled The Moscow Installation, this was the last exhibition that Judd organised before his death in February of that year. 

Donald Judd's son Flavin Judd has organised the show. “I try to avoid the clichés that are usually associated with the artists and I try to place their works together in the best way possible for their own works which is not necessarily the same manner,” he says. “So, the Malevich works are going to be installed differently from the Judd works. Given the size of the space I’m trying to do what’s best for the specific works and from that hopefully more interesting things will arise than if I simply paired up works together.”

Judd recalls travelling to Russia with his father during the 1980s and seeing works by Russian artists including Malevich for the first time. 

“He had a strong interest in the Russian Constructivists and they were a group of people that it was hard to learn about until recently so it made a big difference being able to travel there,” Judd says. 

In a bid to shed light on less familiar sides of the artits' work, Flavin Judd will include Dissolution of a Plane (1917) by Malevich as well as Donald Judd’s Untitled (89-04) (1988). 

“One of the similarities between the different artists is that they have a whole range of activities that they were doing that nobody really puts together,” he explains, adding that the show will feature overlooked figurative watercolours by Malevich.  

The exhibition also highlights the influence of the Russian Supremacists on American Minimalism. It will include a floor piece by Judd which was featured in the original Moscow show in 1994.

Judd/ Malevich will take place at the inaugural show at Gmurzynska’s new additional Zurich space in the centre of the city on Talstrasse. 

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