Tabula Rasa (14 Times)
The exhibition is the American conceptual artist’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. It features 14 neon works of appropriated text, made up of 8 colours titled ‘Nineteen eighty-four (Orwell)’. The main idea the artist is trying to convey in the exhibition is ‘Any message?’, referring to the dystopian themes within the iconic 1948 novel by George Orwell (1903-1950), which illustrates what the world would be like without the freedom to think and evaluate truth. The show is part of a two-part exhibition at the gallery alongside a new series of works by Spanish artist, Javier Calleja.
A pioneer of conceptual art, throughout his career Kosuth has insisted on maintaining the integrity and rigour of his fundamental insight that the ‘visual’ component of art is only one part of a complex structure that produces meaning within art, and not its basis. Freedom and truth are two values and ideas that run throughout our everyday lives, and Orwell’s unanswered question is mediated through the artist’s signature use of neon, toggling back and forth between languages and colours, engaging and demanding an answer from the viewer.