On Kawara

Mrz 18, 2015

New York

The Salomon Guggenheim of New York is currently showing Silence – a major exhibition on On Kawara recalling both his early years and late career. The Japanese artist started his career in the 1969s. Together with Sol LeWitt and Hanne Darboven, he coined the conceptualism movement.

The artist was fond of travels. His paintings refer to the dedication of his nomadic life. A large part of the Guggenheim museum is dedicated to his Today Series – paintings showcasing the very dates they were painted at. Additionally, the pieces give hints at the country they were made in as the month is written in the according language. Thus, in März, he was in Berlin while he has been in France in août (August).

Mixing daily dates with the ones of emblematic events, On Kawara combines the personal with the international in order to make of every day a special one. His technic didn’t change over the years, always using a handmade paint for the background ranging from dark grey, blue or red. The letters and numbers always stay white. This constancy in his art can also be seen in the numerous postcards he sent to friends over the years. While the writing stays the same, it’s only the time he wakes up that changes. 1’500 cards testify his daily routine and love for sleep–on 15 September 1968, he announces “I got up at 10:55am”.



Installation View On Kawara—Silence

On Kawara

Guggenheim Museum of New York

February 6 – May 3, 2015

1071 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10128