New York

On Kaware

Sperone Westwater

This show featured five works from On Kawara’s “Today” series: JULY 16, 1969, JULY 20, 1969, JULY 21, 1969, FEB. 27, 1987, and MAY 1, 1987. Each work in the series consists of the month, day, and year of a single date, and was made entirely on the date depicted. Letters and numbers are in white acrylic on black acrylic grounds, and are painted with the deadpan impassivity of a sign painter. Although done by hand, it is as if they were manufactured mechanically, made by following the directions in an instruction manual. For example, according to the press release: “Each painting takes eight to nine hours, or more, to execute and is recorded in a looseleaf journal that includes a calendar of the year and, sometimes, notes—both written in the language of the country where the first day of the year was spent.” There is a certain idiocy to Kawara’s endeavor, the idiot obsessiveness of a madman,

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