October 1 – Sean Kelly is delighted to announce ‘Agnosia, an Illuminated Ontology’, a major installation of neon works over five decades by internationally acclaimed Conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth. This will be Kosuth’s first exhibition at the gallery since 2011 and his first exhibition in the new space. The opening reception will take place on Friday, November 6, from 6:00 to 8:00pm, and the artist will be present.
Featuring over forty works dating from 1965 to the present, the installation simultaneously chronicles Kosuth’s fifty-year investigation into the role of language and meaning in art, and his consistent use of neon. The exhibition includes historic early works, featuring one of the most important neons Kosuth ever made, ‘Five Fives (to Donald Judd)’ [blue], (1965), alongside more recent works such as his ‘Camus Illuminated’ series (2013). Installed in a response to the gallery’s specific architectural space, ‘Agnosia, an Illuminated Ontology’ will employ areas never before activated for exhibition purposes, creating an all-encompassing and profound experience for the viewer.
A radical pioneer of conceptual and installation art, Kosuth initiated appropriation strategies, language-based works and the use of neon as a medium – considering it a form of ‘public writing’ without fine art associations – in the 1960s. Kosuth’s ongoing investigations into language and perception, and the appropriated use of literature, philosophy and psychology have characteristically taken the form of works in series, a format that opens up space for play and reflexivity in multiple directions. Key examples from the artist’s most iconic neon series will be on view, including elements from Kosuth’s renowned ‘Freud’ series (1981-1989), in which the artist puts the psychoanalyst’s texts regarding unconscious function-ing meaningfully into play using wall pieces and installations, and from his acclaimed ‘Wittgenstein’ series (1989-1993), which illustrate the fervent influence of the philosopher on Kosuth’s foundation of thinking, and belief that art should ask questions about itself, as a language engaged in the production of meaning.