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Joseph Kosuth (b. 1945)

Lot 101: Joseph Kosuth , b. 1945 Five Words in Yellow Neon yellow neon tubing


May 15, 2008
New York, NY, US

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yellow neon tubing


5 by 1 1/2 by 85 in. 12.7 by 3.8 by 215.9 cm.


Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago
Acquired by the present owner from the above in April 1987


Executed in 1965, this work is accompanied by an installation drawing and certificate of authenticity from the artist.
Joseph Kosuth is an American conceptual artists and theorist, who has worked in the last forty years to explore the function and nature of art engrossing the peripheral movements and ideas of his time. Following the footsteps of Duchamp, Kosuth worked more radically than those artists of the Pop movement in which Kosuth insists that the art itself is breaking through what the viewer innately views as what are versus what are not the actual creative processes behind art. In Kosuth's 1969 essay "Art After Philosophy", he argued that traditional art-historical dialogue had reached its end. Kosuth began eliminating the aesthetics from art, so that the viewer must define his or her own concept of art. Duchamp did just this, by putting a urinal on display in a museum, forcing the viewer to consider what we define as "art". Yet Kosuth delineates himself from Duchamp, as he believes art is in the ideas and not in the object itself. In the beginning of Kosuth's career, he overtly used the tautological character of art to express his ideas. Later, he began to use the linguistic approach by exploring the political, cultural, and social milieu which art revealed - and hence defined. Using logic rather than intuition to reach what Kosuth deems as art, he began to use language as the actual medium in itself. Now devoid of everything besides the words themselves, Kosuth has purged the images and objects of his predecessors and contemporaries, freed innate perceptions of the viewer, to finally achieve intellectual questioning. Five Words in Yellow Neon,

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