One and Three TablesEnlarge image

One and Three Tables, 1965

Joseph Kosuth
American, 1945
wood table and photostat enlargements
table: 74.9 x 60.3 x 61 cm; photostat of table: 117.8 x 91.8 cm; photostat of definition: 61 x 61 cm
Purchased 1973
National Gallery of Canada (no. 17259.1-3)
© Joseph Kosuth / SODRAC (2013)

One in a series of related works, here Kosuth presents us with three instances of a table: the object, its dictionary definition and a photograph. For each display of the work, a new photograph is taken and the dictionary definition is reprinted. Kosuth played a crucial role in defining conceptual art, which developed out of both Marcel Duchamp's readymade, as understood by Pop artists such as Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol, and geometric abstraction, as practiced by Minimalists such as Frank Stella and Donald Judd. Along with fellow conceptualists Lawrence Weiner, Sol LeWitt, and John Baldessari, Kosuth sought to replace the art object with language alone. In this iconic work, object, idea and image form a closed system, each referring to the other.




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