ART AFTER PHILOSOPHY AND AFTER. COLLECTED WRITINGS, 1966-1990
Joseph Kosuth's writings, like his installations, assert that art begins where mere physicality ends. The articles, statements, and interviews collected here, produced over a period of twenty-four years, range over philosophy of language, anthropology, Marxism, and linguistics to discover the common principles that inform representation while negotiating the endlessly complex debates about art over the last two decades.
Kosuth was one of the first to record the basic ideas and the role of ideas in the avant-garde of the 1970s and 1980s. Rooted in Freud, Wittgenstein, and French theory, his work investigates the linguistic nature of art propositions and the role of social, institutional, psychological, and ethnological context. His writings, like his visual productions, are radical formulations of the meaning of art itself. As a whole, they present a new definition of an expanded role and responsibility for the artist.
Kosuth reevaluates the work of Marcel Duchamp and provides a theoretical agenda for institutional critique. He discusses the role of art in the future and its relationship to philosophy, attacks the return to painting of the late 1970s, and argues for the continued relevance of conceptualist ideas at times when other visual idioms have dominated the art world.
Joseph Kosuth first received widespread notice at the Museum of Modem Art's "Information" exhibition and the Kunsthalle Bern's "When Attitudes Become Form" in the late 1960s. Today he is considered, along with Sol LeWitt, Edward Ruscha, Bruce Nauman, Dan Graham, Robert Morris, and a handful of other artists, a founder of what has become known as conceptual art. He is represented by Leo Castelli Gallery in New York and his work appears in the permanent collections of many major museums.