Joseph Kosuth

"Language began to be seen by me as a legitimate material to use. Part of its attraction too was that by being so contrary to the art one was seeing at that time it seemed very personal to me. I felt I had arrived at it as a personal solution to personal art problems."

- Joseph Kosuth, 1970

Joseph Kosuth is a conceptual artist and American editor of Art/Language. He has investigated alternative ways of producing art that no longer involve painting, sculpture or even using manufactured objects- the dematerialization of the art object. He has created installations and has posted texts on billboards and advertisement sections of magazines, using dictionary definitions or excerpts from Roget's Thesaurus. His work performs a linguistic analysis of the relationship of words, things and images.

Joseph Kosuth studied at the Toledo Museum School of Design, completing his studies as a painter at the Cleveland Art Institute. He moved to New York to attend the School of Visual Arts and later the New School for Social Research where he studied philosophy and anthropology. He is also involved with a collective of English conceptual artists called Art & Language.

Kosuth's eagerness to engage the viewer's mind primarily via language, explains his use of the subtitle, Art as Idea as Idea, in works created from the mid 1960s. For example Kosuth's One and Three Tables, uses dictionary definitions of words, placed together with a real table and a photograph. In The Eight Investigation (Art as Idea as Idea) Proposition Five is an installation with tables and a selection of aesthetic readings.

© Graziano Arici, photographer