Obituaries USA

Japanese artist On Kawara dies aged 81

Conceptual artist is best known for making date paintings for the past 48 years

On Kawara's work on show at David Zwirner gallery

On Kawara, the Japanese-born conceptual artist best known for making date paintings for the past 48 years, died today, Thursday 10 July, at the age of 81.

Kawara began making his date pictures, known collectively as the “Today” series, on 4 January 1966 in New York and continued to work on them for the rest of his life. Each hand-painted work was completed on the date depicted and most were packaged with newspaper clippings from local publications. Because Kawara refused all interview opportunities and declined even to have his photograph taken, the thousands of pictures made in the series cultivated an air of mystery, despite their deliberate tedium. Kawara felt they should speak for themselves.

The Guggenheim Museum in New York is currently planning a retrospective of his work, due to open next February.

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Comments

16 Jul 14
0:30 CET

JESSE GLASS, TOKYO

I'm very sorry to hear of On's passing. It is now 7/13/2014, Tokyo Time. I write this as a small memorial to a great conceptual artist.

16 Jul 14
0:31 CET

MAW NWAI, YANGON

I always remember he said in a letter ''Don't worry, I am not going to commit suicide".

11 Jul 14
18:19 CET

PETER HUESTIS, WASHINGTON, DC

What makes you think he died yesterday? Could it be that we only found out he had died yesterday?

11 Jul 14
18:19 CET

YUSUKE HASHIZUME, TOKYO

Was he really dead on "10 July"? David Zwirner did't say anything about his deathday...

12 Jul 14
4:18 CET

YUKI OKUMURA, BRUSSELS

There is no announcement that he died "today." It is just that the announcement was made today, which confirms he "has died."

11 Jul 14
18:21 CET

AMCDONALD, NEWCASTLE

Conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth used to visit On Kawara in his studio. Both seemingly engaged in a kind of conceptual Warholism. The exhibition installation photo shown in this article shows quite a strangely likeable situation. Perfect for a discussion with or about Zizek.

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