The art of Judy Blum may have discovered its rational moorings in genres of creation we associate with New York in the 1970s (thinking precisely of the disciplines of Minimalism, Conceptualism and Process Art) but it may have found its raison d’être in the cultures (both ancient and contemporary) of India. Blum has a fascination with lists, usually lists of names, and the simple ordering of these lists supplies her with a program for making art. Drawing can be as simple as finding, composition can be relinquished to an indexical given. A type of concrete poetry is made visible while a paced litany renders language abstract, meditative or even comically onomatopoeic.

Judy Blum’s art combines the maniacal accounting of the bureaucrat with the incomprehensible babblings of the hysteric. Order and chaos are mutual concerns while the comfort of repetition and the ease of simplicity mask a troubling irrationality. Judy Blum’s purity of both form and intention posits a smooth sliding scale with which to measure the mundane as well as the uncanny. The artist’s limitation of means complements a hysterical excess and is nothing less than a direct approach from which to go around in circles. 

Peter Nagy


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