101 Spring St

Hannah Gregory
Sep 15, 2013 9:57PM

Donald Judd’s historic home and studio in New York, now open to the public, was a crucial context for the artist’s practice. Here he began to produce objects that engaged the space around them. 

“The interrelation of the architecture of 101 Spring Street, its own and what I’ve invented, with the pieces installed there, has led to many of my newer, larger pieces, ones involving whole spaces”, he wrote in In Defense of my Work (1977).

During a visit to NYC early this summer, I enjoyed a tour of 101 Spring St with a board member of the Judd Foundation and Artsy Developer, Anil. I wrote a piece on the studio residence and its impressive collection of artworks (Duchamp, Flavin, Stella...) and furniture (Judd, Alvar Aalto) for Domus. You can read the full piece here, excerpt below.

"As Judd Foundation opens Spring Street’s doors to the public, after three years and 23 million dollars of meticulous restoration, the gentrification cycle of SoHo is complete. Now Spring Street is home to design showrooms, clothes boutiques, pseudo-speakeasies and trend-making bakeries. The polished wood floors and lofty ceilings of the premises, as well as the clean-lined wood and metal pieces which furnish it, have been thoroughly appropriated by “bourgeois chic”, as Sharon Zukin puts it in her study of culture, capital and urban change Loft Living. The Minimalist style, whose naming as such Judd refused, appears in interior design shoots in international magazines, across abodes from New York to Zurich.  But if Minimalism in design has become prevalent, 101 Spring Street bears the mark of an original.

Spring Street’s five levels became strata for making, living – with his two children and wife, the dancer Julie Finch – and entertaining, around Judd’s own design dining table and Gerrit Rietveld’s zig-zag chairs. In life, as well as in art, Judd supported the unity of a “whole space”. He had already begun to arrange works in a “considered, unhurried measure” in his vast complex in Marfa, Texas. He considered the space around the work, and the viewer’s movement through this, equally important as its physical substance. This philosophy, a pursuit of “permanent installation”, is what makes the Spring Street residence singular."


Hannah Gregory