Self-defined in five colors

  • 1966
  • Joseph Kosuth
  • Neons
  • 13.0 x 233.0 x 3.0 cm

Joseph Kosuth breaks with strict conceptual language by means of a tautological utterance in neon of five words in five colours, thus creating a new chromatic allure. Self-Defined in Five Colors is a sentence in five words that defines itself. The color corresponds to the utterance; perception and meaning become one.

© Adagp, Paris, 2019 © Primae / David Bordes


Joseph Kosuth

In the late 1960s, Joseph Kosuth began challenging the very necessity of a work’s materiality. Language is at the core of Kosuth’s work; it is both a plastic tool and his field of investigation. 

Among his early pieces, One and Three Chairs (1965), simultaneously depicts a chair, a photograph of a chair, and its dictionary definition, establishing equivalency between the object, the image of the object, and the concept of the object. Self-Defined in Five Colors (1966) is one of the best examples of his approach

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