On Kawara
5.JUN.68 E. “U. El senador Robert F. Kennedy…” [5.JUN.68 “U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy…”], 1968
On Kawara (1933 - 2014)
5.JUN.68 E. “U. El senador Robert F. Kennedy…” [5.JUN.68 “U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy…”], 1968
Liquitex on canvas and handmade cardboard box with newspaper clipping from Excélsior
Painting: 20 x 25 x 4 cm
Box: 21.5 x 26.2 x 5 cm
Cardboard box: 21.5 x 26.2 x 5 cm
On Kawara dedicated his work to the recording of time, and, by extension, to documenting his existence through various means. Such means included postcards, telegrams, diary-like entries from a typewriter detailing the names of people he had met, maps indicating where he had gone, and newspaper clippings of what he had read on a particular day, as well as paintings like these. Better known as Date Paintings, these works reflect on the way we measure time, and the random and subjective nature of days and years. Kawara produced nearly 3,000 Date Paintings over more than four decades, and they are all the product of a strict set of rules: each was made on the date shown on the painting, with white letters and numbers inscribed on a monochrome background in the center of each canvas. If Kawara did not complete a painting before midnight, it was destroyed. The artist adopted the language and the alphanumeric structure of the date, month, and year depending on where he was at the time that he painted. These works were made while Kawara was living in Mexico, staying at the Hotel Monte Carlo in the Historic Center. It is in the encounter with the spectator that these paintings, and their particular days and years, acquire a symbolic charge, a deeper meaning.
Artistas de la Colección Jumex: On Kawara