Joseph Kosuth: A Short History of My Thought

Joseph Kosuth, A Conditioning of Consciousness, 1988 (detail)A major solo exhibition from one of the pioneers of conceptual art, American artist Joseph Kosuth – Anna Schwartz Gallery presents in association with the Melbourne Festival, A Short History of My Thought on display from 7 October 2017.

In the 1960s, when his practice began, Joseph Kosuth was a key protagonist in the conceptual art movement that would alter the trajectory of modern art. His introduction of language into site-specific installations opened up new channels, through which to explore the relationship between ideas and form.

The rigour and acuity with which Kosuth has explored the making of meaning itself has gone on to influence generations to follow. Over the decades, he has never ceased probing the capacity of art to cut through to the essential questions of existence. This survey of his continuing practice is testament to a legacy that still alters the way we see things today.

A Short History of My Thought features a large body of text and neon works from the past fifty years, unfolding across the entire Melbourne gallery space. The exhibition gathers cornerstone early works from the late 1960s, such as Titled (Art As Idea As Idea) [why] [how] (Webster), 1967, through to the present.

Kosuth’s investigation of philosophy, literature and theater brings the relationship between art and language to the foreground. A Short History of My Thought plays with meaning, with references ranging from Mondrian, Darwin and newspaper comic strips, to the writings of Freud and Beckett.

“Kosuth’s pairings of high-minded content with common materials have a hypersaturating, destabilizing effect that eliminates hierarchies… a virtual ambush of information through which meaning is eventually, hopefully, distilled.” – Anne Prentnieks, Art Forum (2015).

In conjunction with the exhibition, a free public lecture will be presented by Joseph Kosuth on Thursday 5 October at 6.30pm at the State Library Theatre – State Library Victoria (booked out).

Joseph Kosuth: A Short History of My Thought
Anna Schwartz Gallery, 185 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Exhibition: 7 October – 5 November 2017
Free admission

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Image: Joseph Kosuth, A Conditioning of Consciousness, 1988 (detail), blue neon mounted directly on the wall and framed black and white photograph – image courtesy of Joseph Kosuth Studio and Anna Schwartz Gallery