On Kawara - Contemporary Art Part I New York Thursday, May 17, 2007 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp; Private collection, Belgium; Schönewald Fine Arts, Düsseldorf

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Perhaps, as you read this, somewhere in the world On Kawara is making a date painting. If he is in the US, the date will begin with the name of the month, in English, followed by the day and year. If he is painting in Europe, the day will precede the month. The abbreviated name of the month will be recorded in the language of the country he happens to be in. If the country doesn't use Roman script - in Japan, say, or Russia - he will write the name of the month in Esperanto.
    He invents rules for himself, self-imposed limits. There are four or five coats of the same brand of paint on each canvas. The paint goes round the edge of the stretcher. The lettering is hand-painted with calculated precision and anonymity. It is always in crisp, white lettering and occupies pretty much the same proportion of each canvas, though the canvases themselves are not always the same size, nor quite the same colour. Some days are greyer, some more brown or a shade darker or bluer than others. Every day has its individual timbre, though at first they seem alike. That's how the days go, as reticent as the way he paints them... On Kawara creates his own memorial every day, in the eloquent silences of his works. He exists, and his art is the proof of it.” (A. Searle, “It’s a date!”, The Guardian, London, December 3, 2002).


‘Monday’ Sept. 6, 1999. ‘Today’ series No. 34

Liquitex on canvas with artist’s cardboard box and New York Times newspaper clipping.
Canvas 13 x 17 in. (33 x 43.2 cm); Box 13 1/2 x 17 1/2 x 2 in. (34.3 x 44.5 x 5.1 cm).
Signed “On Kawara” on the reverse of canvas.

$150,000 - 250,000 

Sold for $456,000

Contemporary Art Part I

17 May 2007
7pm New York