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Juddscapes

_dsc5237b.jpgNo trip through the American Southwest would be complete without a stop in Marfa, Texas. The 1.6-square-mile town of roughly 2,100 owes much of its success as a major hub for minimalist art to Donald Judd, who, in 1979, purchased a large parcel of land—a decommissioned fort—that would serve as the palette for his reinvention of art outside of the New York scene. Today, the Chinati Foundation preserves Judd’s large-scale works, which can be found throughout the town. Perhaps his most identifiable work—his concrete blocks—are in a field adjacent to the renovated artillery sheds that house additional works by Judd as well as many of his contemporaries (most notably Dan Flavin).But about these concrete works: although inexplicably not part of the guided tours hosted by the Chinati Foundation, we actually found the self-exploratory aspect to be far more rewarding. (We determined that group tours make us feel rushed and, inevitably, lead to others—impatient as they are—feeling irritated with our slowing them down.) The rain’s coming and going gave us some torrential clouds and amazing lighting opportunities, and also allowed us to seek shelter within the structures themselves (although, it’s my understanding that that was somewhat forbidden).

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