A Special Trip to the Hickory Museum of Art

We recently traveled to see the Hickory Museum of Art’s “Contemporary Voices” exhibit. As their own website describes…

In September 2019, Hickory Museum of Art filled a major hole in its collection of American Art by acquiring a work by celebrated Conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth. “CONTEMPORARY VOICES” introduces works that push the boundaries of what you expect art to be. You will experience Kosuth’s Texts (Waiting for-) For Nothing, a neon installation in dialogue with Bruce Nauman’s No, No, New Museum and Juan Logan’s Trying Not to Forget...The exhibition serves as a gateway for you to explore how Conceptual art favors the central idea behind a composition over traditional technical and aesthetic concerns.

This was a meaningful event for our family because my uncle, Joseph Kosuth had gifted his work in memory of my dad Tom Pfahlert, who for a time traveled to Hickory to work alongside me in my design studio after he retired from teaching and being the head of Advertising + Graphic Design at Central Piedmont College, and this was the first time for us to finally see it in person. Add that to the long list of plans pushed back due to the pandemic. When my mom (Joseph’s sister) rounded the corner to the devoted space for the work, she got pretty emotional, a special moment for sure.

We’d like to express our deep, warm thanks to Joseph, Cindy Smith from Joseph Kosuth Studio, Inc., and also the HMA staff: Jon Carfagno (Executive Director), Clarissa Starnes, (Assoc. Director) and Kristina Anthony, (Exhibitions Manager) who kindly gave us our own private showing of the museum and this very special collection.

Our family is so happy and honored to show people the work from a founding father of Conceptual Art. Maybe one day we can all meet there together and even Joseph himself can be in the building. Here’s hoping!