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Donald Judd. Untitled. 1968 630

Brass, 22 × 48 1/4 × 36", 240 lb. (55.9 × 122.6 × 91.4 cm, 108.9 kg). Gift of Philip Johnson. © 2024 Judd Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

ARTIST, LESLIE HEWITT: My name is Leslie Hewitt. We're looking at this Untitled brass floor work.

There's a power, a demand to pay attention to it, to physically have a relationship with it, to think about what it means to pare down anything to its essence. And then you question, well, what is essence? So, I think that's the power of it.

The relationship between the way that light penetrates or that light reflects is so a part of my looking at this work. And that it becomes an enigma, I love. It draws you in, it asks you a question, it doesn't give you the answer, it is asking for you to have an engagement with it that's active. It's not passive. To make sense of the object through direct experience. I respect that.

Something that I find very striking is you can't help but see certain mathematical principles made physical. Which for me on a personal level, I'm from a family of people who are connected to math. My mother was a math teacher, my dad was a computer programmer.

So as an artist, I think minimalism, when I first saw certain works, I thought, wow, I see, it's making certain concepts concrete and visible.

1968, the date does give you a timestamp. In American history, I think 1968 is a charged date. We can't undo that. I can't not see the world as being radically changed, not only as a woman, but also a woman of color. Seeing that date holds me as a viewer to account to other histories that aren't literally reflected, but it doesn't mean that they're not pivotal.