Joseph Kosuth’s writings, like his installations, assert that art begins where mere physicality ends. The articles, statements, and interviews collected here. A discussion of Joseph Kosuth’s definition of art as a proposition within the world, with reference to the text ‘Art After Philosophy’. Joseph Kosuth an American conceptual artist, lives in New York and London, after having . His seminal text ‘Art after Philosophy’, written in , had a major impact on the thinking about art at the time and has been seen since as a kind.

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Meaning is always a presupposition of function.

Yale University ; Cornell University: Joseph Kosuth’s writings, like his installations, assert that art begins where mere physicality ends. He also lived in an area of Australia some hundreds of kilometers north of Alice Springs with an Aboriginal tribe that, before they were re-located four years previously from an philosopht farther north, not known of the existence of white people.

In conclusion this essay might suggest that perhaps the shift which had occurred by then was not simply that:. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art. He also spent time in the Trobriand islands with the aboriginal tribe that Malinowski had studied and wrote on.

Behind every one of his decisions is an aesthetic judgment, with those judgments reflecting his taste. For it is characteristic of empirical propositions that their validity is not purely formal. The viewer who experiences the work, as well as the artist who makes it, cannot fail to have a history, experiences, memories and beliefs about things other than art.

Such an argument is the case of a preconceived notion ordering together not necessarily related facts. The articles, statements, and interviews collected here, produced over a period of 24 years, range over philosophy of language, anthropology, Marxism, and linguistics to discover the common principles that inform representation while negotiating the complex debates about a Joseph Kosuth’s writings, like his installations, assert that art begins where mere physicality ends.

And this questioning of the nature of art is a very important concept in understanding the function of art. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. His visual environment in the part of the world in which he lived was fairly consistent. One consequence of this is that the standard philosophical discussions of many problems, such as those of causality and free will orof materialism or mentalism, are based on an interpretation of the pattern of events which is no longer tenable.


Kosuth belongs to a broadly international generation of conceptual artists that began to emerge in the mids, stripping art of personal emotion, reducing it to nearly pure information or idea and greatly playing down the art object. It would be a mere ejaculation, in no way characterizing that to which it was supposed to refer.

It is in this context that art shares similarities with logic, mathematics, and, as well, science. Certainly the monumental popularity of colour television and the increasing importance of the media in general was delivering spectacle on a daily basis, but it was also delivering images of horror in a way which was very accessible. That is, it was ordinarily predictable as to what he would be coming into contact with day after day.

Art After Philosophy and After : Collected Writings, 1966-90

Art is art-as-art and everything else is everything else. Clearly there is a sympathetic relationship between this opinion and that extolled by Kosuth.

Kosuth includes an almost poignant description of one aspect of this period within the text itself:. Thus, as Ayer has stated: This essay will refer only to the first section of the original essay, as it is here that Kosuth develops the theoretical side of his argument.

Joseph Kosuth – Wikipedia

In other words, the value of Cubism — for instance — is its idea in the realm of art, not the physical or visual qualities seen in a specific painting, or the particularization of certain colors or shapes. Formalism, he said, limits the possibilities for art with minimal creative effort put forth by the formalist. He remarked in When philosophy has availed itself of the results of science, it has not been by borrowing the abstract mathematical description of the pattern of events, but by borrowing the then current pictorial description of this pattern; thus it has not appropriated certain knowledge but conjectures.

As he said to friends at the time: We use cookies to give you the best possible experience.

To translate this into text, as Kosuth did in with Art After Philosophy, and which I will attempt to do here in response to the question posed, first of all requires a clear demarcation of ground and a working definition of the terms that will be used. Thus there is no final proposition. He has no idea about art.


Although he is now very critical of its implicit postivism, no one can deny how effective it was at the time. Art is not what is not art. Outside of the U. To see what your friends thought of this book, phklosophy sign up. They are linguistic in character because they express definitions of art. Ayer 26 Here then I propose rests the viability of art.

It is said to be false, not because it is formally defective, but because it fails to satisfy some material criterion. In Britain alone, consideration must be given to a plurality of traditions, all valid, and all followed within art practice — an Indo-European tradition, for example; an North African tradition, a West Indian tradition, a specific Islamic tradition, and so on.

For convenience, all page numbers and references will refer to the Art in Theory Harrison and Wood, edition reprinted extract of this text. Formalist criticism is no more than an analysis of the physical attributes of particular objects that happen to exist in a morphological context.

Kosuth continued his work, writing, exhibiting and exhibition organizing and rapidly became acknowledged as one of the pioneers of Conceptual art and installation art; initiating language-based works as well as photo-based works and appropriation strategies since the beginning of his work in the mids. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.

An analytic proposition is one where validity is determined internally, while a synthetic proposition, in contrast, may have empirical validity through comparison with external facts, states, or truths.

He was unable to define art in so far as such a definition would destroy his private self-referential definition of art. Bethany Johnson rated it liked it Mar 29, The difference between all the various uses of the box or cube form is directly related to the differences in the intentions of the artists.