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Larry Bell

I MET DONALD JUDD in 1965. I was in New York for my first show at the Pace Gallery, Barbara Rose and Frank Stella had a party, and Donald was there. I knew of his work through magazines; not much of it had been seen on the West Coast at that time. I liked the guy straight away. He was the most amusingly odd person I had ever met.

His interest in my work was very flattering and he was the first artist ever to buy a piece from me. He paid it out over a couple of years—the figure wasn’t very much but no one had any money in those days. With the final payment came a terse note: “That’s It.” Donald was not a person to make mindless chitchat.

In 1966 I moved back to California but went to New York on a regular basis and visited Don if he was in town. I was with him when he got the call that Barney Newman had died. He was devastated. I had never seen him externalize emotions other than a chuckle

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