Crossroads: Kauffman, Judd and Morris
January 19–March 31, 2018
Crossroads: Kauffman, Judd and Morris is Sprüth Magers’ second curated exhibition presenting Craig Kauffman’s work displayed alongside his influences and contemporaries. The show presents six works from Kauffman’s fertile period of 1966–71, when he addressed the issues of structure and form in painting, the use of industrial materials, painting’s relationship to the wall, and dematerialization. His work is contextualized by the inclusion of the stack piece Untitled (Bernstein 80–4) (1980) and the floor piece Untitled, DSS 234 (1970) by Donald Judd and the two felt works Untitled (1968) and Fountain (1971) by Robert Morris, as well as supplemental materials from the Kauffman archives. The exhibition, Kauffman’s début at the London gallery, presents the three artists together for the first time in Europe.
Although primarily known as a Los Angeles based artist, Craig Kauffman had a long history of engagement with the New York scene. In 1967, Kauffman relocated to New York, encouraged by the successes of his recent exhibitions in the city. While there, he began a friendship with Donald Judd, the artist who coined the phrase “specific objects” to describe his own work, a format which operated between painting and sculpture. Like the work of Judd, Kauffman’s three-dimensional plastic paintings occupy this liminal category. Their volume suggests that they are sculpture, but their presence on the wall reinforces their status as paintings. The unity of color and form, achieved through the use of industrial materials, is another point of similarity between the two artists’ objectives.