When I supervised a shop at the Colorado College, I found the knolling concept, explained below, one of the most effective ways to get my evening student shop monitors to grasp the way I wanted to find the space upon flicking on the lights each morning. A place for everything, and everything replaced. Oh, perhaps the time one of them lined up all the accumulated detritus, including three spent sunflower seed shells he’d found among my perpetual shipwreck of a workbench – do as I say, not as I do – was going a bit overboard, but if I had to choose one extreme on the Judd/Bacon scale to permanently occupy, it’d be Donald’s. Thanks, but no thanks, Francis. For the rest of you new to the concept, you’re welcome.
The Knolling Judd/Bacon Scale
To knoll is to have a psycho-pathetic compunction to put everything not in use away, where it belongs, and with what remains, to group all ‘like’ objects and align or square them to either the surface they are on or to the studio/workshop/office walls. For example, behold Donald Judd’s New York studio desk:
Nearly perfect knollitization. For examples of perfect knolling, see any art Judd ever made.
Despite my ribbing of anyone much further to the Judd side of the continuum than me, I’d have to say the other end is much more horrific. It is this zone – the antiknollian zone – where we find Francis Bacon’s studio. I’m sorry to leave you with this visual, but just to establish the other pole, here it is:
Everyone falls somewhere on the Judd/Bacon Scale, in which Judd’s studio would be a 1 and Bacon’s a perfect 10. (Editor’s note: for the sake of establishing our end points, Andy overlooked a .5 deduction for slightly out-of-square architectural templates in the photo of Judd’s studio. Also, for allowing someone to stand in the frame at a diagonal, something, for instance, hyper knoll-conscious Nazi Germany never would’ve allowed. I’ve been handed a note from the judge – he says it would have been a full point deduction but for the fact that the boots are nice.
Witness the photo below, in which Hitler is exhibiting the Deutcheckigrecht, or German squared shoulder, as troops march by in perfect unison. By the way, the soldier at the bottom center of the photo was demoted for turning his head 45 degrees to the left. Again, however, nice boots.)