Untitled by Donald Judd from 1968 is made from stainless steel and amber plexiglass boxes. It consists of ten of these boxes mounted separately on a wall, one on top of the other. It would almost appear that these ten boxes are floating above the ground. It is a minimalist piece that seems to glow when the light reflects off the stainless steel sides and shines through the colored plexiglass. It is a compositionally simple piece, yet the way it plays with light gives it an elegant complexity – the glass is all the same color, but lighter or darker depending on how the light catches it. The stainless steel sides reflect light, giving a stark contrast to the darker amber plexiglass contained within. And despite this, this piece still manages to almost illuminate the space.
The chrome-like appearance of the stainless steel used in this piece gives it an almost industrial style appearance, yet the amber plexiglass counteracts this effect by giving this piece its beautiful, elegant appearance. Its elegant appearance would defer people from identifying it as a minimalist piece, but to me this is a staple of minimalist art. It consists of flat planes, right angles, and straight lines, and the whole piece itself consists of the same form repeated ten times over. It is true to its materials – when looking at it you can clearly see it’s made of stainless steel and colored plexiglass as Judd made no move to disguise it. A key aspect of minimalist art is pure form, and what could be more pure than clear glass and shiny metal?