stephen.news

hypertext, words and more

Marfa

  • Executive Editor at Vox, Mercedes Kraus, penned a travel guide for would-be visitors to Marfa. Marfa is located in West Texas. Heck, even the Simpsons visited Prada Marfa:

    The Simpsons, S30E11: “Mad about the toy”

    Texas, is well known for many things. A couple of venerable and memorable characters from Texas’s past include Sam Houston and Lyndon B. Johnson. A few of my personal favorite things about Texas: the tall skies, grassy hills, semi-arid desert landscapes, swell thunderstorms, quiet dive bars, and loud honky-tonks. It’s easy to forget that Texas has a substantial art culture in Marfa. But, its there damnit! It has frequently been overshadowed by larger-than-life subjects such as Austin’s tech boom, and of course Texas oil booms.

    You can read the entire travel guide here at Curbed. But, I loved this pro-tip on arting and getting to know locals in Marfa:

    For art: Don’t let anyone tell you to skip Chinati. I recommend either the full tour ($25) or all three self-guided tours ($30). The self-guided are “the sheds” (where I experienced a visual symphony), the Dan Flavin buildings (for your Instagram fulfillment), and the new Robert Irwin—an artwork and experience that is in fact an entire building. The thing that I think you, a fan of this newsletter, would really miss if you don’t do the full tour is the arena. If you are unable to take the Judd Foundation tour (see above), you must do the full Chinati tour so that you can experience the arena. (Pro tip: get to know your docent—locals in Marfa are super friendly, will give you great tips, and might even invite you to a local party or happening.)

    For context, The Chinati Foundation was founded based on Donald Judd’s ideas and principles. Honorary Texan, Donald Judd is essentially Marfa’s Patron Saint of Art. For good reason too. If not for him, Marfa would look a helluva lot different.

    Mercedes is on-point about getting to know your locals too. Don’t be shy. Texas’s state motto is, after all simply, friendship. You might just make a friend. Having a Texan in your contact book is like personally knowing a hobbit. Cherished, magical and kind.

  • Donald Judd, was a truly wonderful artist. He was a Texan, a self-proclaimed minimalist (many attribute the term’s ubiquity and elevated definition to his contributions). He was a pioneer in fabrication methods, a prolific furniture designer, and finally an architect.

    Judd once purchased a beautiful cast-iron, five-story building at 101 Spring Street, in New York City and it still stands today. It’s where his foundation is currently headquartered in New York. His work, (such as the one pictured below) is transcendent, stimulating ephemeral works. Often bold, they create little spaces and jettison outward from walls or floors with sharpness and arresting hues:

    Untitled, 1991. Donald Judd. Photo via David Zwirner.

    While Judd died in 1994, tragically from lymphoma (fuck cancer), the Judd Foundation lives on. It is a non-profit, dedicated to preserving and maintaining the life and works of Donald Judd. The foundation also happens to offer scholastic programs and internships to practicing artists. They even have some of Judd’s furniture design fully fabricated for sale. Sales benefit the foundation’s mission and helps keep the lights on. Some pieces in particular are quite striking:

    I don’t know about you, but most of these are just completely divine. I highly recommend visiting the shop here, and check out the rest of the catalog.