Joseph Kosuth (b. 1945 in Toledo, Ohio) attended the Toledo Museum School of Design from 1955 to 1962 and studied privately under the Belgian painter Line Bloom Draper. From 1963 to 1964, he was enrolled at the Cleveland Art Institute before moving to New York to attend the School of Visual Arts. Transitioning from painting to conceptual works, Kosuth’s work generally strives to explore the nature of art rather than producing traditional works of art. Kosuth’s works frequently posses a self-referential quality, exploring the production and role of language and meaning within art.
Kosuth has exhibited throughout Europe, the Americas, and Asia including Documenta V, VI, VIII, and IX; the Biennale di Venezia in 1976, 1993 and 1999; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Select awards include the Brandeis Award, 1990; Frederick Weisman Award, 1991, the Menzione d’Onore at the Venice Biennale, 1993. In 2001, Kosuth received the Laurea Honoris Causa, doctorate in Philosophy and Letters from the University of Bologna. And in 2003, he received the Decoration of Honor in Gold, the Austrian Republic’s highest honor for accomplishments in science and culture.