Friday, January 13, 2012

Meditation on 100 Untitled Works in Mill Aluminum

Image borrowed from The Chinati Foundation Website. For more information, visit them at

Over the holidays I visited the Chinati Foundation, in Marfa, Texas, to see Donald Judd's 100 Untitled Works in Mill Aluminum. Housed in two abandoned artillery sheds in the vastness of West Texas, each work fits into the same outer dimensions and is crafted from the same material: sheets of aluminum about three quarters of an inch thick and polished to a satiny shine.

The works fill the glass-encased space of the bunkers, airy above the concrete floors and amid the brick pillars. The tour for these spaces is half an hour, total, which didn't give me nearly enough time to give each work the attention I wanted. I found them fascinating and soothing and compellingly contemplative. Not nearly enough time to examine each of the 100 works, but enough time to write a poem upon them, penned into my little notebook as I wandered around and among them. I hope you enjoy it. I think I'll send it to the Foundation.

Meditation on 100 Untitled Works in Mill Aluminum

Fleeting glimpses of
Endlessness encapsulated,
Caught in the corners
Of light and shadow
Where sharp hard sheets
And obdurate joinings
Flicker, fade, evanesce,
Boundaries flooded, washed away,
In a spreading sprawl of mirrored time...

Time arcing though blue sky with the sweep of
Planets slanting over ageless mountains swept by
Shifting sunlight, shimmering, in the metal mirage and
Then, with a millimeter sideways slip of focus, suddenly
All endings
Coalesce into prismatic space,
A single moment...

Infinity inverted
One hundred times.