I GOT UP AT 6.50 A.M.
I AM STILL ALIVE
ON KAWARA IS [NOT] STILL ALIVE.
HE WAS ALIVE FOR 29,771 DAYS (APPROX.)
"Each Date Painting in his Today series, the magnum opus that he began in 1966, is a monochrome field on which is written the date the painting was executed, in the language and according to the calendar of the country where Kawara was at the time. If he does not complete a painting by midnight, he destroys it. Some days he makes two paintings; very occasionally, he makes three; but most days he makes none.
"Every painting in the series conforms to one of eight sizes, all horizontal in orientation, ranging from eight by ten inches to sixty-one by eighty-nine inches. For every painting the artist mixes the paint afresh, so that the color of each is unique. Tonalities in the brown-gray and blue-black range have dominated the last decades. Four or five coats of acrylic are evenly applied to the canvas, creating a dense matte surface. Letters, numbers, and punctuation marks are then built up by hand, rather than with the aid of stencils. Initially he used an elongated Gill Sans typeface, later a quintessentially modernist Futura. Variations in the letters or hues are of no symbolic significance, nor is the choice of a work’s color more connotative than its measurements." (Dia Art Foundation)
On Kawara was born 2 January 1933 and died June or July 2014. Read obituaries by Jonathan Watkins and Roberta Smith.