press release

Joseph Kosuth (Toledo, Ohio, 1945) is one of the foremost Conceptual artists. Initiating language based works and appropriation strategies in the 1960s, he has consistently explored the production and role of language and meaning within art. Reacting both to the expressionism of abstract painting, with its emphasis on the physicality of the art object, and to the strong iconic representation in Pop Art, by the mid-1960s Kosuth had staked out a radical position: to work within the realm of art, but at the same time shift the object of artistic activity to a strictly intellectual dimension by focusing on the linguistic aspect of art.

Long interested in Freud and psychoanalysis, in Duchamp and the notion of the Readymade, in Wittgenstein and the philosophy of language, Kosuth has explored the linguistic nature of propositions in various social, institutional, psychological, and ethnological contexts, expanding the traditional boundaries of the role of the artist. He began applying his Conceptual methodology with early works such as ‘Clear Square Glass Leaning’ (1965), which consist of what its title describes (four square sheets of glass against a wall). In other ‘Proto-investigations’, such as ‘One and Three Chairs’, he juxtaposes an object, its image, and its definition from the dictionary. His ‘First Investigation’ of 1966-68 is a series of individual works under the form of photographic enlargements of dictionary definitions subtitled ‘Art as Idea as Idea.’ After his early works, Kosuth’s linguistic interest developed in the direction of observation and critique of the entire context of the production of meaning in art, and he created since the late 1960s and early 1970s large-scale site and context-specific public interventions. These include billboards and banners as well as numerous installations both indoor and outdoor. His work evolved to include, as well, curated installations – merging art, architecture, design and curatorial practice. In addition to a historic work, ‘Seeing Reading’ [Cobalt Blue], 1979, Kosuth will show an in-situ new project for the Castello di Rivoli, titled ‘Seeing Knowing’, 2004, installed on the roof of the Manica Lunga. Both works have become part of the collection of the Castello di Rivoli. The exhibition will also include ‘One and Three Chairs [It.], 1965, ‘The Seventh Investigation Context C’, 1970 and No Number #376 (+216 After Augustine’s Confessions), 1989.

Presentation curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev

Concetto, Corpo e Sogno This exhibition presents works by “classic” conceptual artists such as Joseph Kosuth and Lawrence Weiner, artists like Dan Graham, who have worked in different directions, developing a conceptual analysis of perception and experience, and other artists, not traditionally defined as “conceptual,” such as Joan Jonas and Susan Hiller, who instead have worked within the context of performance, installation art and the exploration of the mysterious and less rational side of the mind. The exhibition is organized into five solo shows, presented in succession by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev: Lawrence Weiner (March 28 – July 30), Susan Hiller (April 11 – July 30), Dan Graham (April 29 – July 30), Joseph Kosuth (May 16 – July 30), Joan Jonas (May 30 – July 30). Each solo show includes historical works alongside more recent or new projects by the artist. With the support of the CRT Foundation for Modern and Contemporary Art, seven of the exhibited works will become part of Castello di Rivoli’s permanent collection.


only in german

Concetto, Corpo e Sogno:
Joseph Kosuth
Kurator: Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev