On Kawara

On Kawara was born in 1933 in Japan, and has lived in New York since the mid 1960s. An exponent of conceptual art, he is best known for his treatment of the subject of time in his Today and One Million Years series. The Today series began in 1966, and depicts the date of the each painting’s execution. Kawara adheres to strict-self imposed rules in this series, routinely painting the date in white Gill Sans or, later, Futura font and monochromatic background. The location of the artist at the time of execution also determines the language and grammar of the painted date recording. Generally, earlier works contain the most vivid background colours. If Kawara is unable to complete a work before the end of the day, he destroys it. One Million Years, however, is an audio performance piece dating to 1993 in which a daily sequence of dates is read aloud for long periods of time.