On Kawara

From 21 February 1997 to 20 April 1997

Curated by Jean Louis Maubant, Philip Pique

On Kawara (Aichi, Japan, 1933) records the passage of time through acts of dating, listing and classification, following artistic practices close to Conceptual Art. Beginning with the experience of reality, he identifies the artistic work with his own existence, attesting to its becoming.

The recording of the quotidian is present in a series of works begun in 1966, where the artist collects used newspaper clippings to accompany his paintings, kept in file boxes, and in a series of telegrams sent beginning in 1969, in which, after having communicated his intention to not kill himself, he attests to his survival.

Another typology of works, created in the late ‘Sixties, takes as its subject opposing realities and concepts, such as the infinite and the finite, the relative and the absolute, unified by art in one paradoxical and vertiginous idea.  These works are composed of files in which years past are transcribed by number, going back a million years prior to 1969, the year of the work’s creation, or, following the same principal, going forward a million years in the future.

The exhibition includes paintings created between the ‘Seventies and the ‘Nineties, in which word and number become the privileged medium. After repeated applications of acrylic paint, the artist paints, in white, the day, month and year in which the canvas was created, in the language of the place in question.


From 21 February 1997 to 20 April 1997