Toledo Museum of Art installs two new works by artist Joseph Kosuth

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Toledo Museum of Art installs two new works by artist Joseph Kosuth
Joseph Kosuth (American, born 1945), The way in which language signifies is mirrored in its use, 2019, neon, Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, PC2018.31.01

TOLEDO, OH.- The Toledo Museum of Art has installed two new works of art by Joseph Kosuth, a leader in the conceptual art movement, who received his early artistic training in the Museum’s own classrooms.

The way in which language signifies is mirrored in its use is a site-specific work commissioned by TMA and designed by the artist following a visit to the Museum in 2018. The large-scale, white neon word-based work is installed in the frieze in Libbey Court, greeting Museum visitors.

“The neon phrase asks us to stop and think a moment,” said Halona Norton-Westbrook, TMA’s director of curatorial affairs. “The relationship between concept and form is also at the heart of Kosuth’s work as an artist. One of the pioneers of conceptual art and installation art, his work has consistently explored the role of language and meaning within art.”

With The way in which language signifies is mirrored in its use, Kosuth is quoting Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, who wrote about language and explored the relationship between concept, form and function.

The other work by Kosuth, entitled One and Three Blackboards, is a gift to TMA from the artist. Consisting of a blackboard, an image of the blackboard and a definition of a blackboard, this installation is on view in Wolfe Gallery.

“In conceptual art the idea, rather than the object, is of primary importance,” Norton-Westbrook explained. “Here Kosuth addresses the idea of a blackboard, and the relationship between object, image and language or words, in a literal way.”

The actual blackboard of One and Three Blackboards is one Kosuth used when he attended the Toledo Museum of Art’s Saturday art classes as a child.

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