534 W 21st Street
NEW YORK—The Paula Cooper Gallery is pleased to present a large-scale plywood sculpture by Donald Judd and a series of new paintings by Sherrie Levine. These exhibitions will be on view simultaneously at 534 West 21st Street from 31 March through 28 April 2001.
Sherrie Levine’s series of new paintings consists of two sets of six identical oil paintings on aluminum panels. Each painting consists of a grid of alternating red and grey squares on an 18“x10” rectangle.
Levine has been making geometric abstract paintings since the mid 1980s. In 1985, she wrote: “I like to think of my paintings as membranes permeable from both sides, so there is an easy flow between the past and the future, between my history and yours.” Levine started this recent series in New Mexico in the summer of 2000 and re-visited a recurring motif in her work as well as one of the signature patterns of nonobjective art. The check paintings make reference to several art historical canons–the palette of red and grey has evident forbears in Suprematism, the emphasis placed on repetition and seriality pays homage to the strategies of Minimalism and the chessboard pattern is an obvious reference to Dada.
Donald Judd’s Untitled (1976) consists of a four feet high and 48 feet long barrier-like wall of unpainted Douglas-fir plywood parallel to and about ten feet from the wall. For this exhibition, the work will be installed along the entire length of the south wall of the main gallery. Only visible from relatively close up is a second band of plywood forming a diagonal slant downwards to the wall. This second component reveals itself gradually as one approaches the work, thus modifying one’s perception of its interior volume. This elemental structure epitomizes Judd’s mastery at conveying unexpected sensations of volume and weight by combining simple geometric forms and common industrial materials.
Untitled (Slant piece) is a major example of Judd’s large-scale plywood works from the early seventies. These groundbreaking works, most of which are now in museum collections, allowed Judd to explore new treatments of surface, light and especially space on an architectural scale. This piece, the largest of three similar structures based on a singular wall-to-wall element, was first shown at Leo Castelli Gallery in 1976 and again at Museum Wiesbaden’s large Judd retrospective in 1993.