ON KAWARA, 1973- Produktion eines Jahres, 1973- one years production. Kunstalle Bern, 1974.
On Kawara, and The Letter Edged in Black Press Inc. Copyright 1968; Druck Serigraphie Albin Uldry, Bern printer 1974.
Poster designed by On Kawara.
This extremely rare poster for On Kawara's first major European exhibition is now over 40 years old.
The 100 year calendar reproduced for this poster was designed by On Kawara in 1968 for distribution via William Copley's now famous and groundbreaking publication S.M.S (Shit Must Stop) which at the time distributed commissioned artworks via subscription. The S.M.S work is the only example of an “100 year calendar” in On Kawara's oeuvre separate from the calendars he produced in notating the dates for each of his “Today” series of paintings.
Being the only reproduction available of On Kawara's “100 Year Calendar” for S.M.S. #4 this poster is an opportunity to revel in the contribution to art history that On Kawara is singularly recognized for having made: rendering “time” material. One has only to momentarily engage with the calendar to slowly absorb and experience the overwhelming accumulation and relativity of the days that mark the passing of time measured as 100 years.
Viewing the calendar can be a terrifying, subjective but ultimately humanising experience unique in the history of art. Every day of the 20th Century captured in space in the most ubiquitous of formal artistic structures of the 20th Century: the grid.
Faced with this immensity of palpable time we must inevitably make this time personal ie. I Got Up...I Went.....I Met....I Read.....I Am Still Alive..... which of course connects us to those works of On Kawara's bearing these same titles.
On Kawara “Silence” his most comprehensive retrospective is currently showing at the Guggenheim Museum, NY through May 6, 2015.
This poster challenges any values usually accorded the poster as a form of art distribution in its impressive and authentic engagement with the material/immaterial which is at the intellectual core of what became to be known and defined as “Conceptual Art”.