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Yayoi Kusama’s critical friend, Donald Judd

The Japanese artist's Infinity Net paintings to go on show at US artist's Soho home, 101 Spring Street

Javier Pes

© Yayoi Kusama. Courtesy of David Zwirner; New York; Ota Fine Arts; Tokyo / Singapore; Victoria Miro; London; YAYOI KUSAMA Inc.

In Donald Judd’s New York home and studio at 101 Spring Street, Soho, large white Infinity Net paintings by Yayoi Kusama go on display in September. Organised by Flavin Judd, the artist’s son, who is the co-president of the Judd Foundation, visitors will be able to appreciate the qualities in the Japanese artist’s work that his father so admired.

Donald Judd was an eloquent and early admirer of Kusama’s paintings. “Don said of Kusama in a review for ARTnews in 1959: ‘Yayoi Kusama is an original painter.’,” Flavin Judd says. “That might not sound like high praise, but it is. Originality was Don’s goal and she already had it—he was very impressed.”

Two years later, he wrote a letter to the US Immigration and Naturalization Service supporting the young Japanese artist’s extended stay in New York. “In quality, the idea is grave, dignified, cool, and tough and in method advanced and remarkable,” Donald Judd wrote. Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Nets in New York (22 September-9 December) will be a contrast to Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, the blockbuster show of her immersive installations now touring North America, which heads next to Los Angeles to the Broad (21 October-1 January 2018).