Seeing Reading


(b. 1945, USA)

Seeing Reading, 1981

Neon and transformer

Planet Word, on loan from the collection of Tom and Ann Friedman

Try reading this artwork out loud: “This object, sentence and work completes itself while what is read constructs what is seen.” What do you think that means? Do you think that the words and the artwork are separate, or are they on and the same?

One of the pioneers of the conceptual art movement, Kosuth explores within his works the philosophies of linguistics and logic and brings the meaning, rather than the form, of artistic expression to the forefront. This piece in particular highlights (literally) its own recursive nature: there is no “seeing” without “reading.”