For over four decades, On Kawara has created paintings, drawings, books, and recordings that examine chronological time and its function as a measure of human existence. The artist began making his now signature date paintings (known as the Today series) on January 4, 1966 in New York City, and continues to make them in different parts of the world. His practice is characterized by its meditative approach to concepts of time, space, and consciousness.
Since 1999, Kawara’s work has been represented by David Zwirner. On Kawara: Date Painting(s) in New York and 136 Other Cities marked his fifth solo exhibition at the gallery, which was on view from January 6 – February 11, 2012.
Kawara’s work has been included in numerous conceptual art surveys from the seminal Information show at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1970 to 1965-1975: Reconsidering the Object of Art at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, in 1995-96. The artist’s work has been the subject of recent solo exhibitions at prominent institutions worldwide, including the Dallas Museum of Art in 2008. On Kawara: Consciousness. Meditation. Watcher on the Hills was a major solo exhibition, which traveled to a dozen international venues between 2002 and 2006, including the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, England; Le Consortium, Dijon, France; Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany; Institute of Contemporary Arts, Singapore; and The Power Plant, Toronto. A long-term installation of the artist’s date paintings is currently on view at Dia:Beacon in Beacon, New York.
Work by the artist is represented in major museum collections internationally, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Kunstmuseum Basel; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Philadelphia Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Toyota City, Japan.
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