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Josiah McElheny

IT IS STRIKING TO ME THAT DONALD JUDD’S WORK IS DISCUSSED almost entirely without reference to “the hand.” Although it is usually said that his works were industrially produced, there is very little talk about how these objects actually came into being. They were not simply made to order from a factory but were fabricated in collaboration with a very small, specialized group of metalworkers and woodworkers in modest workshops. His structures have only the appearance of being untouched by human hands. They may register as industrially produced objects for most people because of the way labor, morality, and modernism intersect in our society. But it is precisely the way his art connects with society that makes it meaningful to me.

What constitutes the industrial? Today some objects are produced completely by machines. Most industry, however, consists of a complicated collaboration between

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