One and three mirrors consists of a mirror, a photograph of this mirror on the same scale (and showing the same image that is reflected in the real mirror wherever it is installed), and a photograph of a dictionary definition of the word 'mirror', also enlarged to the same size as the mirror. In 1965 Kosuth presented other ordinary objects — a chair, a clock, a saw — similarly juxtaposed as object, image and verbal definition. These were the artist's first attempt to present verbal information as an equivalent to an image and to highlight the nature of both as an improvised code for a common object — a mirror, a chair, a clock, and so on.
In One and three mirrors and similar works Kosuth juxtaposed object, image and word. At the same time, in 1965 he created neon works such as One and eight - a description, in which the object or image is composed of words, each word describing some aspect of the object of which it is a part. Hence the Gallery's fluorescent lettering reads 'NEON ELECTRICAL LIGHT ENGLISH GLASS LETTERS PINK EIGHT'.
Michael Lloyd & Michael Desmond European and American Paintings and Sculptures 1870-1970 in the Australian National Gallery 1992 p.353.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010