On Kawara—Silence

Text by Jeffrey Weiss, Daniel Buren, Whitney Davis, Maria Gough, Ben Highmore, Tom McCarthy, Susan Stewart, and Anne Wheeler

Because of his recourse to language, photography, and systems of information, On Kawara is often described as a key figure in the history of Conceptual art. Yet his work stands apart in its devotion to painting and its existential reach. On Kawara—Silence is published in conjunction with a major exhibition of Kawara’s post-1964 work at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Like the exhibition itself, the structure of the book was devised in close collaboration with the late artist. The exhibition catalogue contains essays on Kawara’s work by leading scholars and critics in various fields, including art history, literary studies, and cultural anthropology. It also includes substantial, authoritative descriptions of every category of his production—the first time such comprehensive information has appeared in print. Richly illustrated,On Kawara—Silence reproduces many examples of the Date Paintings (Today), calendars (One Hundred Years and One Million Years), postcards (I Got Up), telegrams (I Am Still Alive), news cuttings (I Read), maps (I Went) and lists (I Met) that comprised the artist’s practice beginning in the mid-1960s. Among other groups of works, the book includes images of the 97 Date Paintings (accompanied by their newspaper-lined storage boxes) that Kawara produced during a three-month run of daily painting in 1970. The catalogue also contains reproductions of paintings and drawings produced in Paris and New York in the years that precede the works for which Kawara is best known, as well as rare images of materials related to his working process. The volume is published in four differently colored covers.


Publisher: Guggenheim Museum

Artists: On Kawara

Contributors: Daniel Buren, Whitney Davis, Maria Gough, Ben Highmore, Tom McCarthy, Susan Stewart, Jeffrey Weiss, Anne Wheeler

Designer: Binocular

Publication Date: 2015

Binding: Hardcover

Dimensions: 12 3/4 x 9 3/4 in (32.4 x 24.8 cm)

Pages: 264

Reproductions: 430 color

Special Features: Four different covers, each a different color cloth

ISBN: 9780892075195

Retail: $65 US & Canada | £40 | €52

Status: Not Available

On Kawara

For over five decades, On Kawara created paintings, drawings, books, and recordings that examined chronological time and its function as a measure of human existence. His artistic practice was characterized by its meditative approach to concepts of time, space, and consciousness. He began making his now signature date paintings (known as the Today series) on January 4, 1966 in New York City and continued to produce them in different parts of the world up until his death.

All On Kawara books

Jeffrey Weiss

Jeffrey Weiss is senior curator at the Guggenheim museum. He joined the museum in 2010 as curator of the Panza Collection. Weiss holds a Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York. From 2000 to 2007, he was Curator and Head of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. In 2007–08, he served as Director of the Dia Art Foundation, but left to return to academic and curatorial work. Since that time he has also been Adjunct Professor of Fine Art at the Institute of Fine Arts, a position he currently retains. At the National Gallery, Weiss organized exhibitions concerning the work of Jasper Johns, Pablo Picasso, and Mark Rothko. He also greatly expanded the museum’s holdings in art of the 1960s and 1970s. Widely published in various periodicals on modern and postwar art, Weiss’s writings are regularly featured in Artforum. In 2006, he edited Dan Flavin: New Light, an anthology of essays from Yale University Press.