Minimalist artist Donald Judd is known primarily for his work as a sculptor, but he began his career as a painter and writer of art criticism and theory. Although his earliest paintings of landscapes and figures are in a traditional style, Judd soon began to work in an abstract mode, and shortly thereafter turned to sculpture. Between 1964 and 1966, he and other artists of his generation developed the vocabulary of Minimalism. His simple forms included boxes made of wood, metal, or industrial plastic placed directly on the floor rather than on bases or pedestals. Of particular interest to Judd was the idea of seriality, embodied in his work by progressions or repetition of standard units, and epitomized by his "stacks," groups of wall-mounted boxes forming columns of alternating solids and voids of equal size.
Seriality was also present in Judd's work as a printmaker, which began with figurative lithographs in 1951 and eventually grew to include approximately three hundred editions, many of them woodcuts, the most sculptural of all print mediums. In 1961 Judd began a woodcut series depicting variations on a single form, the parallelogram. Over the next eight years, the series of twenty-six prints came together in a variety of ways. Some began as wall sculptures made of unfinished lumber that Judd later decided to ink and print, essentially creating a two-dimensional manifestation of a three-dimensional sculpture. Others, including this Untitled work, were specifically designed as prints, with wood matrices carved according to Judd's design by his father, Roy C. Judd, who served as the printer for this project. After they were printed, these woodblocks were considered sculptural objects. Another series was created by printing twelve of the blocks in cerulean blue. Judd returned to the paralellogram form repeatedly, making similar serial explorations in etching and aquatint.
Publication excerpt from an essay by Sarah Suzuki, in Deborah Wye, Artists and Prints: Masterworks from The Museum of Modern Art, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2004, p. 198.