BEGIN:VCALENDAR VERSION:2.0 PRODID:-//PYVOBJECT//NONSGML Version 1//EN BEGIN:VEVENT UID:events.uid.3526@www.discovernikkei.org DTSTART:20120203T000000Z DTEND:20120211T000000Z DESCRIPTION:Right now in Manhattan you can see a large group of astonishing ly simple paintings\, installed in multiple branches of a gallery\, that demonstrate a single artist&rsquo\;s global reach. I&rsquo\;m speaking\, of course\, of On Kawara&rsquo\;s date paintings at David Zwirner.\n\nAll joking aside\, the coincidence of Mr. Kawara&rsquo\;s exhibition with Dam ien Hirst&rsquo\;s international Spot Painting extravaganza is illuminati ng. Both are triumphs of personal branding\, systematization and efficien cy\, but with widely divergent levels of cynicism. Speaking broadly\, you could say that one is about time and the other is about money. (Though\, as the adage goes\, the two aren&rsquo\;t all that different.)\n\nZwirne r&rsquo\;s &ldquo\;On Kawara: Date Painting(s) in New York and 136 Other Cities\,&rdquo\; at two adjacent spaces in Chelsea\, collects about 150 pa intings made between 1966 and this month. In his continuing &ldquo\;Today &rdquo\; series Mr. Kawara equates painting with marking time. Each canva s consists of the day\, month and year of its making\, recorded in white sans-serif text on a solid\, usually black background. Each painting must be completed within a day\, or else be destroyed. Some paintings are sto red alongside clippings from the day&rsquo\;s news\; all are logged on a 100-year calendar.\n\nVisually the series isn&rsquo\;t as dry as it sounds . Mr. Kawara admits the occasional bright red or blue into his parade of monochromatic backgrounds\, so that certain dates appear more significant (for reasons that remain mysterious). He works on canvases of different sizes. And when he travels\, as he often does\, he adjusts his language a nd syntax to reflect the host country&rsquo\;s conventions (i.e.\, &ldquo \;26. &Aacute\;G. 1995\,&rdquo\; from Reykjavik\, Iceland\, or &ldquo\;13 JUIN 2006\,&rdquo\; from Monte Carlo). In countries that do not use the Roman alphabet he substitutes Esperanto.\n\nThe Zwirner installation (supe rvised by Mr. Kawara) separates New York paintings from those made in oth er cities. That&rsquo\;s too bad\, because the international paintings st art to look like passport stamps.\n\nBut it&rsquo\;s hard to come away fro m this show without confronting the existentialism &mdash\; and fear &mda sh\; behind these one-day-at-a-time paintings. They remain powerfully con nected to Mr. Kawara&rsquo\;s other well-known body of work\, a series of telegrams sent to his dealer that bore the message &ldquo\;I am still al ive.&rdquo\; One never worries\, with Mr. Kawara\, that the art will expi re before he does.\n\n SUMMARY:On Kawara URL:/en/events/2012/02/03/on-kawara/ END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR