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Basic Data

US artist Joseph Kosuth is considered one of the pioneers of conceptual and installation art and has initiated language-based works and appropriation strategies since the 1960s. In his work, he consistently addresses the production as well as the role of language and meaning in art.

  • Born: 31 January 1945
  • Place of birth: Toledo, Ohio, USA
  • Nationality: American
  • Studied at: Toledo Museum School of Art, Cleveland Art Institute, School of Visual Arts New York, New School for Social Research
  • Similar artists: Hanne Darboven, Joseph Beuys
  • Era: Contemporary art
  • Stylistic direction: Conceptual art



Joseph Kosuth was born in 1945 in Toledo, Ohio. He began his art studies at the Toledo Museum School of Design and later continued them at the Cleveland Institute of Art and the School of Visual Arts in New York. Early in his career, he developed an affinity for philosophy, particularly the philosophy of language, which would have a significant influence on his work.

Kosuth's work is often text-based and includes quotations from literature and philosophy. Through his art, he questions the nature of art and language and challenges conventional notions of artistic expression and meaning. In the late 1960s and 1970s, Kosuth also contributed significantly to the definition and popularization of conceptual art.

His works have been exhibited in renowned museums and galleries worldwide. Today, the artist lives and works in New York. 



  • 15.09.21 - 19.02.23 Avantgarde und Gegenwart – Belvedere 21, Vienna.
  • 19.05.21 - 31.02.22 Presentation of the contemporary collection – Centre Pompidou, Paris.
  • 26.02.21 - 31.12.21 Helga de Alvear Collection – Centro de Artes Visuales Helga de Alvear, Cáceres.
  • 18.06.2020 - 20.09.2020 Inspiration -- Contemporary Art & Classics – Ateneum Art Museum – Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki.
  • 19.02.2020 - 17.05.2020 Inspiration Iconic Works – Nationalmuseum, Stockholm.
  • 20.02.2019 - 26.08.2019 A Vision for Painting - Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris.
  • 26.01.2018 - 05.05.2018 Exhibition from the seven hundred ... - Catherine Bastide, Marseille.
  • 02.01.2017 - 13.08.2017 Primary Structures. - MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt/Main.
  • 21.10.2016 - 27.03.2017 An Imagined Museum. Works from the Centre Pompidou, Tate and MMK collections - Centre Pompidou-Metz, Paris.
  • 19.11.2015 - 20.12.2015 A Zoology of Thinking. Joseph Kosuth - Galleri Brandstrup, Oslo.



  • 1999: Decoration of Honour in Gold, Vienna.
  • 1993: Menzione d'Onore, Biennale Venice.
  • 1993: Chevalier de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Paris.
  • 1991: Frederick Weisman Award.
  • 1990: Brandeis Award.
  • 1968: Cassandra Foundation Grant.



  • Joseph Kosuth. Gäste und Fremde: Goethes Italienische Reise, exhibition catalog, Schirn-Kunsthalle Frankfurt (Publ.), Frankfurt/Main, Basel 1999.
  • Leucht-Schrift-Kunst: Holzer, Kosuth, Merz, Nannucci, Nauman, Andrea Domesle, Berlin 1998.
  • Konzeptuelle Kunst in Amerika und England zwischen 1963 und 1976, Thomas Dreher, Frankfurt/Main 1992.


Own Writings

  • Art After Philosophy and After, Collected Writings, 1966-1990, Joseph Kosuth, G. Guercio (Publ.), Cambridge 1991.