Some of you may know his Soho residence, which is now part of the Judd Foundation. A 5 story industrial building Donald Judd took over in 1968 until his passing in 1994 – a premises only accessible through appointment nowadays (with a long waiting list). A property I’d walked by countless times; lodging with friends nearby during frequent New York fashion market buying trips.
I’d always thought to myself somewhat subconsciously “I’m gonna go in there sometime” but never acted on it. It’s not my style to email ahead of time and go through some pre-determined system or timetable you see. So I just let it be… even though Donald Judd’s compositions have long been an important source of inspiration for me, and this place is one I would not consider missing.
I’m skipping some smaller synchronistic details but I should also mention that I’d just read an interview with Rainer and Flavin Judd (his two kids) in the latest Apartamento Magazine a week or so prior to this trip. Needless to say, the guy was on my mind.
One early fall evening last year I somewhat unexpectedly found myself between rendez-vous. As one ended at a subway entrance with hugs and kisses on a West Broadway corner, I set out in the direction of Nolita, slowly strolling towards a restaurant I was to meet Erin, from Oak, for dinner. Lost in thoughts about my day’s revelations, which seemed to be pushing me towards designing products again (that’s an entirely other story) I noticed there was some sort of function being held at the Judd home. They happened to be celebrating a newly released series of Paintings. A private affair garnished with food and drinks, where the who’s who of the art world nudged elbows and clinked glasses.
A normal reaction would have been to look through the window for a second or two and be on my way, but I decided this was the time I was going in for a visit. Heck I had some time to kill. Security and guest list at the door asked for my name, “Jonah Leslie” I said with credence (even though until that moment I was unaware of this event taking place). “This way sir” a well groomed woman answered after consulting her ipad, as if they’d been waiting for me. I proceeded into the room eyes sparkling with inward smiles.
Behind the bar was a young girl I’d spoken to the day before at a Richard Serra exhibit in David Zwirner’s Meatpacking Gallery. She was an usher there and we discussed the significance of lighting and shadow in Serra’s sculptures. She handed me a beverage as we acknowledged each other grinningly.
I spent the next hour exploring the quiet upper floors of Donald Judd’s New York pied-a-terre – considering his work and life with other guests and Judd foundation scholars. Soaking up the sensorial particulars of his dwelling and sniffing out ghosts of his past.
This episode served as another reminder that one of the secrets to manifesting things you want out of love or affection, is to give time for them to happen when and how they’re supposed to – as though life reciprocates the tenderness you request with.