'Untitled': A controversial piece

American artist Donald Judd’s installation Untitled is a clear example of the challenging nature of much contemporary art. A grey, discoloured mould of a triangle in reinforced concrete, it is stark, bold and minimalist. It was commissioned by the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Judd arrived in Adelaide in May 1974. Untitled reflects the minimalist style of the music, theatre and art scene at the time.

The installation of Untitled at the Art Gallery of South Australia caused much debate. The public argued over whether it was really art, and questioned its value to Adelaide. In the wake of the Vietnam war, Judd's sculpture was seen as representing American Imperialism. 

On its 30th anniversary, Untitled was described as “one of the most contentious works in the gallery’s collection, attracting equal measures of admiration and scorn”. Ron Radford, former director of the gallery, stated that “the gallery’s Donald Judd work is one of the finest 20th-century sculptures in the collection but it’s also one of the most misunderstood works in the collection ... In fact, most people don’t even understand that it is a work of art!”.