Joseph Kosuth

Alternative Name(s): -
Date of Birth: January 31, 1945
Place of Birth: Toledo, Ohio
Date of Death: -
Focus: Linguistic Artist
Art movement: Conceptual Art
Nationality: American

Famous Joseph Kosuth Artwork

Joseph Kosuth Biography

In his early years, Joseph Kosuth enjoyed a comprehensive art education, which he complemented with studies in philosophy and anthropology. The works of Ludwig Wittgenstein, specifically his philosophy of language, are frequently referenced in Kosuth’s art.

A work called Leaning Glass was Kosuth’s first conceptual piece. It was followed by a collection of works called Art as Ideas as Idea in 1966. Kosuth undertook his first solo exhibition in 1969 at New York’s Leo Castelli Gallery.

The impetus behind Joseph Kosuth’s work rests on one principle: That is, words! Kosuth’s work typically strays from the conventional notion of art, with its variety of objects and subjects. Instead, he makes language an integral part of his work, which he uses to question the nature of art and to define art. Kosuth also uses words and texts as art. It is a technique that he has employed in the creation of numerous public and permanent commissions in Japan, Europe and the United States.

One of Kosuth’s most notable works is One and Three Chairs. It shows:

  • A physical chair
  • A photograph of the chair
  • Text giving the actual dictionary definition of chair

Joseph Kosuth has received many awards from a young age. They include the following:

  • 1968: Cassandra Foundation Grant
  • 1990: Brandeis Award
  • 1991: Frederick Weisman Award
  • 1993: The Menzione d’Onore
  • 1999: A 3-Franc postage stamp,created by the French government of Figeac in Kosuth’s honor.
  • 2001: The Laurea Honoris Causa doctoral degree in Philosophy and Letters: This was awarded by the University of bologna.
  • 2003: The Decoration of Honour in Gold: This is the highest honor that the Republic of Austria bestows for achievements in science and culture.