Exhibition

New Work

On Kawara: Date Paintings in 89 Cities

February 25–April 11, 1993

Conceptual artist On Kawara reduces dialogues about the relationships between art and life to their simplest forms. This exhibition includes monochrome canvases that “mark time” in different cities throughout the world; each denotes its date of completion in the language of the country in which it was made, and is accompanied by a cardboard box with a clipping from a local newspaper published the same day. The date paintings double as an archive of life events registered with the utmost objectivity.

This exhibition will be presented in four of the cities in which the artist created the works on view, establishing another link between the mental and physical aspects of time, space, and transposition explored in On Kawara’s art. Presented at SFMOMA as part of the New Work series, the show was organized by the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

No brochure was produced for this exhibition. A catalogue was published by the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen in 1991. Download a PDF of the exhibition checklist.

Learn more about the New Work series.

The exhibition was organized by the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam. Local presentation of the exhibition is generously supported by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Collectors Forum as part of the New Work series.

  • A row of small black blocks featuring white lettering hanging in a gallery

    New Work: On Kawara: Date Paintings in 89 Cities (installation view, SFMOMA), 1993

  • A grid of postcards featuring landmarks in Germany

    New Work—On Kawara: Date Paintings in 89 Cities (installation view, SFMOMA), 1993

  • A map and other documents framed and hung on a wall

    New Work—On Kawara: Date Paintings in 89 Cities (installation view, SFMOMA), 1993