Quiz: Donald Judd, Or Cheap Furniture?


Here is a fun quiz where you must identify whether the furniture in the photos are works by minimalist artist Donald Judd, or cheap flat pack furniture from a big box store! Donald Judd, or Cheap Furniture?


  1. WHERE is a fun quiz where I must identify whether the furniture in the photos are works by minimalist artist Donald Judd, or cheap flat pack furniture from a big box store?

    Or is this a minimalism joke that is whizzing over my head?

  2. I think the intended quiz is here. The fact that “Minimum material for cost savings” and “Minimum material for aesthetic” look so similar is wonderful for furnishing on the cheap…at least until the cheap stuff starts to sag.

  3. Ha! lol I just got a score of 67%. I even just went to Marfa TX for the open house of Judd’s(and others) art work. I’m lame. It was amazing by the way. Go to Marfa TX before it becomes a complete tourist trap(it might already be to late)!

  4. I got 83% and I’ve never heard of Judd either. I just picked the things that looked too uncomfortable to actually use, and those were the artist pieces :)

  5. aw man i thought this was a quiz where you pick whether the item pictured IS donald judd or a piece of cheap furniture. i probably would’ve gotten a pretty high score on a quiz like that.


  6. The quiz is interesting in itself, but is also says to me that Walmart is ripping off IKEA’s designs big-time…

  7. The secret to identifying it is to determine whether the furniture is functional and something you would have in your house or not. If it is not, it’s “art” and therefore Donald Judd.

    1. You nailed it. (Pun totally intended.)

      The one I got wrong was the daybed for the reason that it looked too functional to be “art”.

  8. 100% here also. And also never heard of Mr. Judd.

    But his works definitely have an aesthetic quality that the cheap stuff doesn’t.

  9. Some of the photos displayed below show exquisite cheap furniture. The rest of the photos show ordinary furniture, created by Donald Judd.

  10. Wow 92%. I’ve never heard of Donald Judd, but I’ve seen his stuff before. I missed the first one. I couldn’t tell from the photo if that shelf was veneered MDF or actually really nice boards. I don’t think the design on that first one is all that great.

  11. Got 92%. I think his aesthetic is pretty recognizable as distinct from the knockoffs, although I didn’t call the bed correctly. I had never heard of him.

  12. I’d never heard of Donald Judd before, but I guessed all but two correctly. I can’t say I really like his designs, but they are pretty distinctive.

    I’d say that it is unfair to ask people to try to differentiate cheap furniture from high quality stuff based on some low-res pictures. You can make a particle board, paper veneer and cam bolt flat-pack piece of furniture that is, at a distance, hard to distinguish from one made with high-quality materials and techniques, but when you get close up, or when you touch or manipulate the objects, the difference becomes clear.

  13. 92% as well. I missed the daybed, but should have gotten it. The art is a subtle comment on these items, so their juxtaposition is very apropos.

  14. 100%, which has nothing to do with identifying aesthetic qualities or functionality, and everything to do with being able to tell which photos were taken in an art gallery and which ones came from a catalogue. If you even glance at the furniture itself you’re thinking too hard.

  15. I also used the principle “ugly OR uncomfortable = artist’s” and scored… 100%. Also, I scouted some of those things (um, the cheap stuff) when we were furnishing our apartment. Some decent-looking stuff at Wal… Target.

  16. 83% based on the assumption that the stuff that wasn’t good utile furniture was probably art. Both my errors were calling the Walmart stuff art.

    I hadn’t heard of Donald Judd either.

  17. I got 92% using the following criteria (similar to other posters):
    a) does it look useless or difficult to use?
    b) does it look poorly finished?
    c) does it lack symmetry?

    If the object fulfilled any of the criteria (judged against the whole lot) I called it for Donald Judd. Daybed fooled me but shouldn’t have.

  18. Cheap Furniture is better than (and more inspiring and meaningful) than Donald Judd any day of the week.

    I’ve been to his personal kingdom in Marfa, and it was like being dipped in a vat of the most boorish, pretentious and out-of-touch essences and acids of the art world.

  19. It’s interesting that everyone is getting the daybed wrong. I did too! Still ended up with 92% though, and have never even heard of Donald Judd before.

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