Sitting in a canvas Wassily chair this morning, I leafed through my copy of this book, marveling at how so little can do so much. Judd's prints of thin-lined boxes and flat forms in striking colors are simple but gain real presence from demonstrating the big differences that small variations can make. This now out-of-print retrospective of Judd's serial pieces features a wealth of bright, beautiful examples of some of the artist's lesser known works, as well as an essay, "Symmetry", written by Judd.


I long ago reached an agreement with what I consider the primary condition:  art, for myself ... should always be symmetrical except for a good reason.

In leaving [the European tradition] the surfaces of my paintings became plain, even and brightly colored. Strokes and touches became lines, at first organic, then curved and later straight. This change divided a painting into two parts, the large, broad rectangle and the narrow lines. Once the lines became straight, the problem of where to place them became more serious. The distinction between symmetry and asymmetry arose. What did the terms mean? Was a choice necessary?

There seemed to be no reason for asymmetry.

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