Joseph Kosuth is one of the pioneers of Conceptual art, initiating language-based works and appropriation strategies in the 1960s. His work has consistently explored the production and role of language and meaning within art. His forty-year inquiry into the relation of language to art has taken the form of installations, museum exhibitions, public commissions and publications throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia.
Kosuth’s work has been included five iterations of Documenta, and he has participated in the Venice Biennale on six occasions. Awards include the Brandeis Award, 1990, 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 June 1999, a 3.00 franc postage stamp was issued by the French Government in honor of his work in Figeac. In February 2001, he received the Laurea Honoris Causa, doctorate in Philosophy and Letters from the University of Bologna.
In 2001 his novel, Purloined, was published by Salon Verlag. In October 2003 he received the Austrian Republic’s highest honour for accomplishments in science and culture, the Decoration of Honour in Gold for services to the Republic of Austria.