Joseph Kosuth: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Guide to Contemporary Art, Special Edition
Edited by Fiona Biggiero. Essays by Pieranna Cavalchini and Joseph Kosuth. Introduction by Anne Hawley.
A pioneer of the conceptual art movement, Joseph Kosuth's work explores the role of meaning in art and, like an archeologist of language and culture, he orders words and ideas from our historical memory into distinct yet intersecting layers of cultural activity--ones that are experienced today. In this exhibition at the Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, he uses a variety of media--text, photographs, neon signage, archival materials, objects from the Museum's collection--to reflect on the history of this unique cultural institution. The exhibition is comprised of three site-specific installations set up as an open-ended dialogue between James McNeil Whistler, Bernard Berenson, and Gardner herself. On the museum's exterior wall, a neon installation titled Whistler's Warning (c.c.c.c.c.) presents a passage from the artist's controversial 1885 Ten O'Clock Lecture. For his installation Isabella's Subtext(s), Kosuth replaces the light protective cloth coverings for the display cases in galleries throughout the Museum with ones of his own, each of which is embroidered with a phrase drawn from one of the documents inside the case. Finally, the installation, Guests & Foreigners: Three Faces of a Correspondence, occupies the special exhibition gallery.