This sculpture by Donald Judd (1928-1994) is a rather nice object. One could see it in the home or garden, perhaps, (if it is aluminium). But there is one problem, which is its price: around several hundred thousand dollars, some larger pieces go up to a million or even several million. That probably doesn’t seem strange, after all it is fine art. But Judd didn’t actually make his work, it was fabricated in a factory.
And for this reason it would have been possible to produce any number of them. But then, of course, they wouldn’t be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, or millions; and there would not be the perfectly reasonable promise that these boxes will ascend into the tens-of-millions of dollars as time passes. So we begin to see the mysterious essence of these objects, what we might refer to as their intrinsic “artness”. We also begin to see why Judd produced, or more exactly, hired other people to produce, pretty much the same boxes from the 1960s until his death in the early 1990s. Once one has become canonized by the fine art system, become a “made man” so to speak, the signature style makes perfect sense, although it would be crass to compare it with branding.