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Castelli Gallery
R.M. #1, 1992
Matte black ink on glass, metal shelf
20 x 98 x 4 in.


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Joseph Kosuth (American, b. 1945) is a central figure of Conceptual Art. He was born in Toledo, Ohio and studied at the Toledo Museum School of Design starting at the very early age of ten and continued there until 1962. He enrolled at the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1963 and studied drawing and painting there for a year. After traveling abroad for a year, he moved to New York City in 1965.

One of Kosuth’s most iconic works from this period is One and Three Chairs (1965). The work consists of a chair, a photograph of the chair and a description from a dictionary page of the word “chair”. Together with Kosuth’s “Definition” works, consisting of enlarged photostats of a word’s definition appropriated from the dictionary, works from the “One and Three” series gave origin to a new art as pure idea and meaning.

Kosuth is also a prolific writer and critic, and his essays from the late 1960s and 1970s are considered foundational documents of Conceptual art.

Kosuth is also a pioneer in the discipline of artist-curated exhibitions. In 1967 he founded an exhibition space called the Museum of Normal Art, which was the first to exhibit several artists who became influential Conceptual artist. And since the 1960s, Kosuth has used the term, “curated installation”, to describe his unique conceptual / aesthetic strategy for organizing exhibitions that include work by other artists alongside his own installation, exploring questions of authorship and the basic nature of art. Kosuth has organized several curated installations, including at the Vienna Secession (1989), Brooklyn Museum (1990), and Castelli Gallery (2019).

Kosuth presented his first solo exhibition at Castelli Gallery in 1969. The gallery continues to work with him to this day, most recently with the exhibition, ‘Dot, Point, Period’: a Curated Installation by Joseph Kosuth at 24 West 40th Street in 2019.

Joseph Kosuth’s work is included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Tate Modern, London, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Art Institute of Chicago; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.