On Kawara Press Release


March 20—April 17, 1999

Opening on Saturday, March 20, the gallery will present the work of On Kawara. This will be the artist's first one-person exhibition with David Zwirner.

For this exhibition the artist will present his project entitled "I READ" along with a selection of the artist’s "Date Paintings". On Kawara has been producing his "Date paintings" since 1966. Each painting is executed on the date painted on the canvas. The dates on the paintings are also the titles of the works, followed by a subtitle. The dates on the paintings are always centered on the canvas and painted white, whereas the background colors vary; the paintings from the early years tend to have bold colors, and the more recent ones tend to be darker in tone. The dimensions of the works range from 8 x 10 inches to 41 x 56 inches. Each painting is accompanied by a custom-made cardboard box, which often encloses a newspaper page or clipping from the local paper from when and where the work was made. Although the boxes are part of the work, they are rarely exhibited. Each year between 63 and 241 paintings are made.

For this show, 32 paintings in total will be shown at different times during the exhibition: one painting for each year.

The project "I READ" comprises a collection of daily press clippings, and was started simultaneously with the "Date paintings" in 1966. The material is drawn from newspapers published on the day, and in the location in which the respective painting was made. Most of the subtitles mentioned above are taken from this material. As of 1973 these subtitles correspond to the word for the particular day in the language of the country in which the painting was made. The clippings are presented on loose-leaf binders placed on wooden tables. Usually each folder represents one year.

Artist Biography

Exhibition Checklist