Skip to Main Content

On Kawara

Japanese, 1933–2014

1,590 followers
Follow

On Kawara

Japanese, 1933–2014

1,590
Followers
Biography

On Kawara has based the entirety of his collection of books, paintings, and drawings on the arbitrariness and subjectivity of the way we measure time. Many of his projects are ongoing, making Kawara himself, as the recorder of time, one of the primary materials in his conceptual works. Kawara is perhaps best known for the “date paintings” in his Today series (1966-), each of which conforms to one of eight predetermined sizes and features a date in hand-lettered typography painted over a monochromatic background. The artist completed the canvases while living or staying in over 100 cities around the world. Each date painting is displayed with a handcrafted cardboard box and a clipping from a newspaper published in the same city and on the same day that the artist made the work. Kawara continues to create new works in the series.

Related Categories
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Auction
High auction record
$4m, Christie's, 2014
User
Solo show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou, and 5 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 19 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 4 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 3 more
Biography

On Kawara has based the entirety of his collection of books, paintings, and drawings on the arbitrariness and subjectivity of the way we measure time. Many of his projects are ongoing, making Kawara himself, as the recorder of time, one of the primary materials in his conceptual works. Kawara is perhaps best known for the “date paintings” in his Today series (1966-), each of which conforms to one of eight predetermined sizes and features a date in hand-lettered typography painted over a monochromatic background. The artist completed the canvases while living or staying in over 100 cities around the world. Each date painting is displayed with a handcrafted cardboard box and a clipping from a newspaper published in the same city and on the same day that the artist made the work. Kawara continues to create new works in the series.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Auction
High auction record
$4m, Christie's, 2014
User
Solo show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou, and 5 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 19 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 4 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 3 more
Articles Featuring On Kawara
Why Do We Care How Long It Takes Artists to Make Their Work?
Jan 9th, 2019
Why Do We Care How Long It Takes Artists to Make Their Work?
At the Guggenheim, a March Through On Kawara’s Take on Time
Feb 2nd, 2015
At the Guggenheim, a March Through On Kawara’s Take on Time
Navigate right