Looking At Language

Text-Based Art

Language is a powerful tool – one that has been employed by many artists. The presence of text in the history of visual culture dates back centuries, however, many modern and contemporary artists have worked to shift its peripheral position to the forefront, many even creating artworks with subject matter solely dedicated to text. The written word has been adopted in the arts in versatile ways, often used as a vehicle to relay subversive messages imbued in socio-political activism, as well as in more light-hearted and humorous instances of clever wordplay. In whatever form it takes, text-based art adds a unique element to visual contemplation, forcing viewers to take a pause, read and reflect.

Have a look at some of our favourite text-based artists and please contact us for any inquiries.

Richard Prince

Mel Bochner

Robert Cottingham

John Giorno Photo by Eric Piasecki

Glen Ligon

Ed Ruscha

Jenny Holzer


For more text-based art, check out the following artists!:

  • Christopher Wool
  • Barbara Kruger
  • David Shrigley
  • Robert Indiana
  • Tracey Emin
  • John Baldessari
  • Harland Miller
  • Jean Michel Basquiat
  • Mr. Brainwash
  • Deborah Kass
  • Juan Plensa





















Mel Bocher

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