Tomas Maier Explains His Love of Donald Judd

<211 -->The fashion designer Tomas Maier,<213 --> who is also the creative director of Bottega Veneta,<215 --> has long admired the work of the artist Donald Judd.<217 --> Maier began collaborating with the Judd Foundation last year when he incorporated Judd furniture into the Tomas Maier pre-fall 2018 lookbooks.

This spring, Maier added pieces from the furniture collection to his Bleecker Street and Madison Avenue stores. Maier has also lent his support to the Judd Foundation’s “15 x 105 x 15,”<219 --> an exhibition of Judd’s colorful and extruded aluminum works, now open to the public on the ground floor at 101 Spring Street until late July.

In an interview, Maier told AD PRO about his relationship with Judd’s canon, his angst about art fairs, and the current lack of wall space in his own home.

Tomas Maier.

Photo: Courtesy of Tomas Maier

AD PRO: How would you describe your first encounter with Donald Judd’s work?

Tomas Maier: It was so absolute in its execution and simplicity that it was a little startling. I guess it spoke to the Miesian in me. Coming from Germany and being a big fan of Gropius and the Bauhaus, it was exhilarating to see art pared down to a bare minimum such as his.

AD PRO: How has Judd’s work inspired you over the years?

Maier: It taught me to always search out the essence. I am not a big fan of the superfluous.

AD PRO: What’s your favorite Judd piece?

<235 -->Maier: I would take a large Stack<237 --> without any problem, preferably in dark metal.

AD PRO: What’s interesting to you about the pieces in the current exhibition you are helping to underwrite?

Maier: For Judd’s work, they are fairly multidimensional.

An image from the Tomas Maier pre-fall 2018 lookbook, featuring Donald Judd furniture.

AD PRO: What other artists are currently interesting and inspiring to you?

<251 -->Maier: The great Swiss master Ferdinand Hodler.

AD PRO: Where are your favorite places to see art at the moment?

Maier: When I travel, I always try to see something local. I most recently made an art-filled trip to Rome, where I visited all of the museums and many of the private collections. It was very enriching, educational, and impressive.

AD PRO: Frieze was last week in New York. What’s your feeling about art fairs?

Maier: I go sometimes, but I am entering a phase of life when “less is more.” I prefer to have few things but exceptional things.

AD PRO: How do you approach collecting furniture?

Maier: Furniture for me needs to be well designed, timeless, and simple. A great piece of furniture is as important to a room as a great painting. Furniture and art should be complementary and not challenge one another.

AD PRO: Do you find that you buy a lot of art these days?

Maier: Not too much. I collect mostly photography – but I have no more wall space – and antiquities – but there is very little available for sale – so it works out in my favor!

AD PRO: What makes you decide you want to buy something?

Maier: In photography, it is all about the “right” image from a certain photographer. In antiquities, it is the composition and expressiveness of the piece.

AD PRO: Who would it surprise us to know that you collect?

<265 -->Maier: Christian Berard.

AD PRO: What was your first big personal art purchase?

<269 -->Maier: A painting by Martin Barré.<271 --> He is an abstract painter from Paris, little known in the U.S., but you can find him in all the important collections in France. I was very young and paid off the painting every month in installments. It hangs in my dining room today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *