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Almine Rech

Joseph Kosuth

The American artist Joseph Kosuth's neon lights illuminate the palace façade. An exponent of conceptual art, he has shaped the neon tubes to trace primordial words: Abstract lines, Forms of earth (crystals), Forms of water (waves), Forms of air (clouds), Organic forms (shells). The installation totals twelve illuminated signs placed at different heights: this is The Material of the Ornament, 1997.

Kosuth was inspired by John Ruskin's The Stones of Venice (1851 - 1853). The classification of decorative architectural elements into categories devised by the English art critic thus becomes an ornament itself, activating unexpected relationships.

Press release

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Installation view of Joseph Kosuth's ‘The Material of the Ornament', 1997 on the 16th-century façade of Palazzo Querini

© Joseph Kosuth