“Art As Idea As Idea”- Kosuth’s philosophy of conceptual art.

Joseph Kosuth was born in Ohio, USA in 1945. He is considered by most to be an installation and conceptual artist. Many consider him to be one of the founders of conceptual art. Kosuth like many of his peers was influenced by the ideals of Ludwig Wittgenstein in the 1960’s and 70’s. The majority of his most popular works deal with the relationship text has with society and the culture in which it exists. Much of Kosuth’s work also addresses the role of the artist in society and what defines art. His work is found in newspapers, on billboards, and in neon lights. Kosuth is one of the few artists who create artwork that can be defined just as easily by an everyday viewer as a well-versed art critic.

One of Kosuth’s aims is to force the viewer to think about art in non-traditional settings and mediums. No longer are words simply text but they have aesthetic value as well. By transforming words into art Kosuth sheds new light on the everyday.

One of Kosuth’s noteworthy installations was a classroom-like setting in which participants were seated at desks and given documents to read. The walls of the room were covered in additional text and diagrams. The idea that art can be more than an object in an environment and actually be the environment exemplifies Kosuth’s desire to force the viewer to approach the idea of art from a new perspective.

In 1967 he founded The Museum of Normal Art in New York City. It was at this location that he hosted his first solo show. Kosuth also created a series based on the ideals of Sigmund Freud. This series combined text and photographs of master paintings.

Since 1968 Kosuth has been a member of the faculty at The School of Visual Arts, where he was once a student. During the 1970’s he was coeditor of The Fox magazine and art editor of The Marxist Perspectives. Kosuth now lives in both New York and Belgium.

Some Other Text Artists:

Jenny Holzer On Kawara Richard Prince Ben Vautier Barbara Kruger Victor Burgin Bruce Nauman Lawrence Weiner

Sources and Images: http://web.mit.edu/lvac/www/WINTER1997/kosuth.html http://www.guggenheimcollection.org/site/artist_bio_79.html The 20th Century Art Book

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