Published for the world tour of the exhibition Consciousness. Meditation. Watcher on the Hills, this publication gathers and documents Kawara's Date paintings (revealing for the first time their method of achieving), telegrams and books from the One Million Years series.
No artist's statement here, as ever, no portrait of the artist and no interview. Furthermore there are no newspaper cuttings to provide a commentary of current affairs for Date Paintings, and no colorful postcards.
Being “still alive” for almost forty years is embodied essentially in this exhibition, forty years that take up four lines in the twenty books of two million years. Counting them down, year by year, day by day, is conducive to meditation...
... is conducive to a consciousness that equates a kindergarten child with an esoteric philosopher, a professor of mathematics with a seemingly self-taught-man, a cave man with a watcher on the hills.
There is too much and therefore nothing for the artist to say.
On Kawara (1932-2014) is arguably one of the most influential contemporary artist. Born in Japan, Kawara's first exhibitions include the first Nippon Exhibition, at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, in 1953, and at the Takemiya and Hibiya galleries the following year. The art of this forerunner conceptual artist was first exhibited in New York—where he has lived since 1965—at Dwan Gallery in 1967, and his one-person exhibition “One Million Years” was shown in Düsseldorf, Paris, and Milan in 1971. Kawara's work was included in Kassel's Documentas 5 (1972), 7 (1982), and 11 (2002), in the Tokyo Biennale (1970), the Kyoto Biennale (1976), and the Venice Biennale (1976).
His work has been included in many conceptual art surveys from the seminal “Information show” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1970), to “Reconsidering the Object of Art: 1965-1975” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1995).
Personal exhibitions of his work have included the Centre Pompidou, Paris (1977); the Moderna Museet, Stockholm (1980); Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam (1991); the Dia Center for the Arts, New York (1993); the South London Gallery (2004); and the Dallas Museum of Art (2008).