Joseph Kosuth and Sol Lewitt: Illogically Logical
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Joseph Kosuth and Sol Lewitt: Illogically LogicalThroughout the course of time art movements are bound to change and come about. Through these changes also comes different analysis and critiques of the works being made. Greenberg and Alloway were big critics in the 40s and 50s, but by the time of the 1960s artists begin to write their own critiques. Two artists who take part in writing their own critiques of the evolving conceptual art movement are Sol LeWitt and Joseph Kosuth. In “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art” and “Sentences of Conceptual Art,” by LeWitt is best defining conceptual art by the process in which it is made. The logic or rather no logic behind the simplicity that is conceptual art and how it is to be understood is the focus of LeWitts paragraphs and sentences. LeWitt so states that “Conceptual Artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach.”1 For Kosuth, he pushes the understanding of art as a language, and the value of the function and idea of artwork being the primary basis in what makes a piece of work good, rather than the aesthetic.
Sol Lewitt states it best by saying that conceptual art is not necessarily logical2, and it isn’t. It is, however, simple; simple in the sense of understanding that it is not the completed object that is the focus of the work, but rather the idea that is trying to be portrayed. In the end, whether or not a material piece is even created is trivial. Conceptual art is made to get the mind of the viewer to think, and question the art and its function. It is not made to necessarily be visually pleasing or bring forth any kind of emotions, because art that is meant for sensation of the eye would be perceptual.3 This is clearly very opposite from the types of work to come out of the movement of abstract expressionism, where the process and emotions being portrayed were the most important factor to a piece. LeWitt was famous for making such works that would simply be instructions on how to complete a work such as Drawing...