Donald Judd was born on June 3, 1928 in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. After serving in the United States Army in Korea, Judd attended the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia; the Art Students League, New York; and Columbia University, New York, where in 1953 he received his B.S. in Philosophy, cum laude. As an art critic, Judd wrote for magazines such as ARTnews, Art Magazine, and Art International.
His early expression came in the form of paintings, however, his artistic style soon moved away from illusory media and he embraced constructions in which materiality was central to the work. Judd used materials such as metals, plywood, concrete and color-impregnated Plexiglas, that became staples in his artistic practice. Most of his output was in freestanding "specific objects" that used simple, often repeated forms to explore space and its use.