Cover image of the review

Joseph Kosuth: A Short History of My Thought

21 Oct 2017
Anna Schwartz Gallery 7 Oct - 25 Nov 2017

Coupled with the pervasive hum of the neon transformers, Joseph Kosuth's A short history of my thought at Anna Schwartz Gallery is a grab-bag of his past fifty years working with neon. Far from any noir promise historically associated with the technology, the neon works—mounted on the pristine white walls of a commercial gallery—seem muted and grim, limited in their referential and atmospheric potential. Taken on their own, Kosuth's works often invite speculation on the secondary textual sources he makes use of. Taken all together, there is a distinctly different emphasis.

The show offers a chance to reflect on our expectations of a long artistic career, a conceptual art practice, in what is a loose retrospective format. Kosuth's short 'history' of his own practice provides the form of a backwards glance over a terrain, suggesting many interpretations and investigations through the same artistic materials: neon, light, and electricity. Kosuth usually works with detailed readings of specific textual sources, but somehow this diversity of concept is outweighed by the material unity throughout this exhibition.

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