Joseph Kosuth (b. 1945, Toledo, Ohio) lives and works in New York. Kosuth is the founder and leading figure of the conceptual art movement. He is known for his interest in the relationship between words and objects, between language and meaning in art. In 1965, Kosuth moved to New York to attend the School of Visual Arts, where he would later join the faculty. Soon after, he abandoned painting and began making conceptual works, which were first shown in 1967 at the exhibition space he co-founded, known as the Museum of Normal Art. In 1969 Kosuth held his first solo exhibition at Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, and in the same year became the American editor of the journal Art and Language. From 1971-1972 Kosuth studied philosophical anthropology (with Stanley Diamond) and philosophy at the Graduate Faculty of The New School for Social Research, New York. The philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, amongst others, influenced the development of his art from the late sixties to mid-seventies.
Kosuth has participated in numerous exhibitions worldwide including: Documenta 5, 6, 7 and 9 (1972, 1978, 1982, 1992) and the Biennale di Venezia (1976, 1993, 1999). In 2007 he exhibited Il Linguaggio dell'Equilibrio (The Language of Equilibrium) at the Monastic Headquarters of the Mekhitarian Order on the island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni, Venice. In 2009, he installed Neither Appearance Nor Illusion in the Louvre's Medieval moat. Awards include the Frederick Weisman Award, 1991, the Menzione d'Onore at the Venice Biennale, 1993 and the Chevalier de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French government in 1993. He received a Cassandra Foundation Grant in 1968. In 2001, he received the Laurea Honoris Causa, doctorate in Philosophy and Letters from the University of Bologna. In 2003, he received the Decoration of Honor in Gold, the Austrian Republic's highest honor for accomplishments in science and culture.