Last-minute roundup of Holiday book suggestions

Raskin surveys Judd’s whole career, drawing upon documents from a number of archives. Though the book is attractively printed and illustrated, it is not simply a coffee table book. Raskin ties together the range of Judd’s sculpture, his art criticism, and his dichotomies of ephemeral and durable, freedom and order.

At the Modern Art Notes blog, Tyler Green called Chinati: The Vision of Donald Judd “The most beautiful art book of the year” and it’s hard to argue. And though Donald Judd is arguably the most influential sculptor (and his writings possibly the most influential texts by a sculptor) in the last half of the 20th century, there aren’t all that many monographs on his work: a gap rectified in part by the new David Raskin book called simply Donald Judd.

The Chinati book gives beautiful photographic layouts of Marfa, Chinati, and the collection, along with essays by Marianne Stockebrand and Rob Weiner, Rudi Fuchs, Richard Shiff, Nicholas Serota, and a section of selected texts by Judd. Short of a trip to Marfa, this is the best view of Judd’s legacy we could hope for.

Going back a century: you’ll have to put a promissory note under the Christmas tree for this one, which will actually be published on January 19th. It is perhaps the best and most complete book on Degas’s  sculpture ever done, with essays by the editors and others and a thematic catalogue (Horses, Dancers, Bathers and Nudes, etc.) of the work. It also includes x-ray research and a wealth of material, in addition to giving the most comprehensive visual overview of the range of the work.

The peripatetic Patrick Dougherty is a road show all on his own, performing as much as creating his sculpture of sticks and twigs all over the world. This new book is the clearest expression of Dougherty as a sculptor and as a practitioner of what has been called “relational aesthetics”: the work is as much about the artist’s (and the work’s) interaction with people as it is an object in itself. An essay by Jennifer Thomson is followed by chapters on 38 specific projects and a list of Dougherty’s complete works. It could also be a tour guide for an excellent road trip (though Dougherty’s works are impermanent and many will now be invisible).


Book Information:
Donald Judd, by David Raskin (Hardcover).
Yale University Press, 2010, 196pp, $55

Stickwork: Patrick Dougherty (Paperback).
Princeton Architectural Press, 2010, 208 pp, $34.95.

Edgar Degas Sculpture (Hardcover).
Suzanne Glober Lindsay, Daphne S. Barbour, and Shellen G. Sturman,
National Gallery of Art, 2011, 392 pp, $99.

Chinati: The Vision of Donald Judd (Hardcover).
Marianne Stockebrand (Editor),
The Chinati Foundation and Yale University Press, 2010, 328 pp, $65.

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