On Kawara: 10 Tableaux and 16,952 Pages
May 18–August 24, 2008
Barrel Vault and Hanley, Lamont, Rachofsky, and Stoffel Galleries
For more than four decades, On Kawara has created paintings, drawings, and books that mark time in various ways, from paintings of individual dates to mailed postcards to diagrams and charts of weeks and months.
On Kawara: 10 Tableaux and 16,952 Pages at the Dallas Museum of Art will mark one of Kawara’s very rare exhibitions in a United States museum, and will in fact be his first American museum exhibition in fifteen years. Kawara’s art is a record of life, not through self-expression but through everyday numbers, words, and images found in the public realm.
In this exhibition, he will feature his largest-scale paintings. A group of these make reference to the United States’ moon landings in July 1969, the first time that humankind was able to see its habitat within the context of the universe as never before. The paintings of five decades were produced in the years 1966, 1976, 1986, 1996, and 2006, creating a self-portrait of the artist.
Kawara’s recordings of his daily activities, the places he has been, whom he has met, and what he has read, in diary-like accumulations of facts and images, are part of a lifelong process of the artist as witness to the age in which he lives. Designed by the artist, this exhibition will offer audiences a rare chance to experience the paradoxically straightforward and complex art of one of the most important figures of the last fifty years.
On Kawara's first exhibitions were held in his native Japan in the early 1950s. He began traveling the world in 1959, and settled in 1965 in New York City, where he has since lived intermittently. His work was exhibited at New York's Dwan Gallery in 1967, and his one-person exhibition One Million Years was shown in Düsseldorf, Paris, and Milan in 1971.
Kawara's art in it various forms was included in Documenta 5 (1972), 7 (1982), and 11 (2002) in Kassel, Germany, and in the Tokyo Biennale (1970), the Kyoto Biennale (1976), and the Venice Biennale (1976).
He won the Carnegie Prize for his participation in that year’s Carnegie International in 1991 and the Kunstpreis Aachen the following year. In 1993, Dia Center for the Arts, New York, held the yearlong exhibition One Thousand Days, One Million Years. A gallery of his Date Paintings is on view at Dia:Beacon. On Kawara: 10 Tableaux and 16,952 Pages is his first U.S. exhibition since 1993.
The exhibition is organized by Charles Wylie, The Lupe Murchison Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art.
Image: On Kawara, July 20, 1969 (Man Walks on the Moon), 1969, acrylic on canvas, private collection, © 2007 On Kawara