Saturday, September 25, 2010

Visiting the Chinati Foundation

By Leah of cricicis design

This summer I had the opportunity to fly into El Paso, Texas, and drive three hours south to a tiny town called Marfa. Here I stayed on the grounds of the Chinati Foundation, a contemporary art museum on the site of former Fort D. A. Russell. Chinati brings art into a natural
landscape like no other museum. The above building houses 100 untitled works in mill aluminum, 1982-1986 by Donald Judd.

Placement of everything on the grounds is intentional. From large-scale sculpture works standing in the fields surrounding the forts, to small Russian artifacts scattered throughout a fort disguised as an abandoned schoolhouse, each piece is set in a time and space of it’s own, but at the same time staying integral to the landscape.

Conceived by Donald Judd in the seventies, Chinati houses these large-scale installations throughout the grounds. Concrete, aluminum, fluorescent light sculptures, and various other sterile materials form the majority of the work, but the art is linked to the flat, raw
landscape in a way that turns these materials organic.

School No. 6, 1993

School No. 6,

untitled (Marfa project), 1996 -
Dan Flavin

untitled (Marfa project),
- Dan

various works, 1972-1983 - John

I wanted to share some of my photos from the trip, although they really don't do the land justice. It was an immensely inspiring experience, and I felt really close to the process of those works at
Chinati. Even though most have stood still for over thirty years, I really got a sense of when and why they they were designed and constructed. Where they were placed then, they still stand today. Donald Judd didn't place interesting art in an empty space- he built art around an interesting landscape. Coming back to work in my studio which consists of a desk in my living room (fair enough, I don't really need a whole field in the desert of Texas for my work, which is
tiny in contrast), I realized that appreciating my workspace and environment is just as integral to my own pieces.

I haven't had so much fun taking photos in a long time. This was a truly unique experience, and I hope the experience helps me link my work and my environment more organically.

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