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Kim Kardashian’s bad table manners

28 March 2024

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

‘If you guys are furniture people – because I’ve really gotten into furniture lately – these Donald Judd tables are really amazing and totally blend in with the seats.’ So said Kim Kardashian in a YouTube video that has provoked a lawsuit from the Judd Foundation and has since been deleted. The New York Times reports that Kardashian’s skincare brand SKKN hired the Los Angeles-based interiors company Clements Design to source Judd-like furniture for its offices. The result: what appear to be versions of the artist’s La Mansana Table 22 and Chair 84. Clements Design reject the suggestion that they’ve imitated Judd’s work.

La Mansana Table 22 and Chair 84, Donald Judd. Photo: © Martien Mulder; courtesy Judd Foundation

The problem, according to the foundation, is both trademark and copyright infringement – and the matter of brand image. ‘Consumers are likely to believe Judd Foundation and the Donald Judd brand are connected or affiliated with, or otherwise sponsored or endorsed Ms. Kardashian,’ says the suit. That would indeed be an unlikely pairing: the minimalist known for the unremitting angularity of his work and the businesswoman whose brand was built on her curves. As the foundation’s lawyer told the NYT, ‘We don’t want to be mixed up with Kim Kardashian. We respect what she does, but we don’t want to be involved with this.’

A glimpse of Kim Kardashian’s contested tables and chairs. Photo via YouTube

To bolster her knowledge of authentic Judds, Rakewell would like to refer Kim to the online quiz ‘Donald Judd, or Cheap Furniture?’ It’s a question that can prove harder to answer than one might expect, despite the price tag of $90,000 for a La Mansana Table 22. Or, of course, she could leaf through one of the many publications on the minimalist artist (a catalogue raisonné is currently in the works). In doing so, she might take a leaf out of her mother’s book, so to speak. In a July 2016 episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kris Jenner proclaimed: ‘I’m reading a book about Le Courvoisier [sic], which was an architect. It’s so weird and boring, but I’m obsessed.’

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