1969 (2)



APR.12,2021 meets MAR.31,1969.

On Kawara was back in New York after a whole year away. Time for a well deserved rest? You have got to be joking. On Kawara would have taken note of his taxi's route back from JFK Airport to Manhattan, so that he could produce his second I WENT for the day. (The first would have been a map of Mexico City showing his route out to the airport.)

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

Enlarging part of the above I WENT for 31 March 1969 (see below), one notes that On Kawara stopped somewhere else before ending up at the place he would sleep. Over the next fortnight, On Kawara would stay overnight at both places, according to I WENT and I GOT UP.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

The six maps comprising I WENT from March 31 to April 5 are reproduced in On Kawara - SILENCE. On Kawara was at both addresses on April 1 and April 2. And on April 5, the two addresses seem to have been the only places he went that day, as you can see from the satellite view below.

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For the first week back in New York, he was getting up at 53 Greene Street. That's the building to the left edge of the satellite view above, and in the middle of the photo below. I don't know which floor Hiroko Hiraoka's flat was on.

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And for the second week or so he was getting up at 97 Crosby Street. That's it close to the right edge of the satellite map, two images up, and the building in the foreground with the green door in the photo below. Again, I don't know which floor.

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How do I explain the existence of these addresses? Well, On Kawara had been away for a full year. Perhaps Hiroko did not like living on her own at 340 East 13th Street and found herself a smaller flat that she preferred, 53 Greene Street. Though that is speculation. It may have been decided between the two of them that On Kawara should have his own flat nearby, hence 97 Crosby Street had been rented. Also, the apartment studio at 340 East 13th Street had been retained as storage space and studio. Again, this is pure speculation. The actual situation may become clearer as this investigation proceeds. Greene Street, Crosby Street and East 13th Street are the three purple dots on the map below, from south to north, and from west to east, respectively. (The red dots are addresses of On Kawara and Hiroko Hiraoka pre-Mexico. The yellow dots I'll mention later on this page or the next.)

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All this implies that the On Kawara entourage was very well off. A gift from
Kasper König of $200 ($1500, inflation adjusted) may have been needed to get On Kawara to Mexico, and established there. But who had paid for all the flights and hotels in South America? The map below shows just how many cities On Kawara stayed in. It shows just how many flights and air-miles would have had to be paid for.

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Moreover, how was On Kawara, who'd not been selling his post-1966 work, in a position to pay for the occupation of three flats in Manhattan? Though I don't suppose it matters how On Kawara himself - or through Hiroko Hiraoka - became rich. His practice would have been much the same. No, that's too glib. I may have to come back to this.

Returned to New York, where
Kasper König still lived, On Kawara stopped sending postcards to him. But I GOT UP went on without interruption. From 1 April there were two new recipients. One was Toshiaki Minemura, a curator and art writer based in Japan.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

The other recipient was Konrad Fischer, based in Germany. In 1970, Fischer would exhibit the first 30 postcards he received in a show at the Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf. And, soon after, On Kawara's first solo exhibition would be presented at his gallery in that city.

Before this, all the I GOT UP postcards had been sent to recipients in New York (as far as I'm aware). Physically returning to New York forced On Kawara's postcard project to go international.


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I don't know if Toshiaki Minemura also got 120 cards. The Guggenheim's SILENCE catalogue reproduces the ones he was sent on April 1-3 (OK's getting up times: 8.15am; 1.36pm; 2.56pm) and April 11-13 (OK's getting up times: 11.51am; 10.20am; 2.22pm). The latter were all posted from 97 Crosby Street. So, as I said, On Kawara spent a week at Hiroko's place then may have moved into the other flat. In both places he slept, it would seem, like a lord.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.


How were things proceeding on the Date Painting front? Well, if 340 East 13th Street was still the studio, then it doesn't surprise me that there was no painting in the first few days of April, since Kawara didn't call in there. Actually, that's wrong. He was at all three addresses on April 2. It doesn't seem like he called in at
Kasper König's address on East Broadway during the first six days of his return. So that makes it more likely, to my mind, that the hundreds of Date Paintings made in Mexico and South America had been posted to Hiroko at 53 Greene Street. Though if the post was more reliable at 340 East 13th Street, they may have gone there. And On Kawara's visit to the studio on April 2 may have been just to survey the fruit of his labour, and perhaps reorganise things a bit. Or maybe just to stand and stare at all the boxes in the realisation that he was pulling this off. Pulling off this amazing act of creativity and willpower, of inner conviction and outward curiosity.

APR.11,1969. Subtitle: "The first examination of deep sediments from the floor of the Arctic Ocean indicates that for perhaps as long as several million years there has never been an extended period when the ocean was free of ice."

APR.16,1969. Subtitle: "Surgeons successfully welded a torn retina today in the right eye of President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz of Mexico, using a thin beam of strong light."

APR.23,1969. Subtitle: "The Government of Nigeria said today that federal forces had captured Umuahia, administrative headquarters of Biafra and the last major centre held by the secessionist regime."

APR.24,1969. Subtitle: "Lebanon Premier Rashid Karami resigned tonight after debate that included criticism of his severe repression of demonstrations against the Goverment's restrictions on Palestinian Guerrillas."

APR.26, 1969. Subtitle: "Earth work."

That's a puzzling final subtitle. The others are consistent with On Kawara's perennial interest in the progress of science and the jostling for power of different political groups and interests.

None of these Date Paintings are reproduced in the literature, as far as I'm aware.

On Kawara painted 12 DPs in May. Each day from May 11 to May 15, the subtitle reads: "I got up at x and painted this." Where x was 12.48pm, 2.05pm, 12.44pm, 3.06pm and 10.03am, respectively.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

On Kawara then made a DP each day from May 18 until May 24, after which he had three-week break. Of the seven paintings, one's subtitle concerns Vietnam, one concerns American race relations, and four reference Apollo 10 as follows:

MAY18,1969: "Apollo 10 with three American astronauts, Thomas P. Stafford, John W. Young and Eugene A. Cernan, rocketed towards the moon today on a critical rehearsal flight to clear the way for planned lunar landing two months from now."

MAY21,1969: "The Apollo 10 astronauts swung into an orbit of the moon today and were set for tomorrow's critical manoeuvres taking men to within nine miles of the lunar surface."

MAY22,1969: "Two American astronauts, riding a frail, bug-shaped spacecraft, swooped down within 9.4 miles of the moon today to demonstrate successfully all the steps of a lunar landing except the actual touchdown."

MAY24,1969: "With a powerful push from their rocket, the Apollo 10 astronauts broke out of moon orbit early today and headed for the earth with ever-increasing speed."

In June, On Kawara made just three Date Paintings, and then four more in early July. The I GOT UP cards were still going off to Konrad Fischer and, I presume, Toshiaki Minemura. I WENT and I MET were still being produced, but they are not reproduced in the literature, subject to what I'll mention further on. I imagine On Kawara was preparing himself for the Apollo moon landing almost as much as the astronauts were.

There is a catalogue that was produced in 2018 by Glenstone, a gallery in Potomac, Maryland, a couple of hours travel south from New York, focussing on the three huge Date Paintings that were made in the second half of July. In the catalogue essay, Lynne Tillman, who spoke to Hiroko Hiraoka while researching her essay, tells us:
'When Kawara learned the moon landing would be broadcast over twenty-four hours, he decided to watch as much of it as he could. Staying awake for twenty-four hours allowed him the opportunity to do a larger-scale work. He would complete the largest canvas he had yet made for the Today series. The three paintings designated as the Moon Landing triptych were not intended to be a set when he painted them. That happened later.'

That statement is of interest because of something that's been bothering me. Date Paintings are about process. They are about discipline. They are not about celebrating some days as special. Every day is special, that's the point. Either you're conscious or you're not. If the paintings vary in number, or size, or colour, this, for the most part, was due to some aspect of process.

But there is no denying that On Kawara was particularly interested in the space program. The subtitles of 'Today' have been mentioning it from the start. And so it is difficult to avoid the notion that On Kawara was intent on paying special attention to these days of the first venture onto another 'planet'. However, the fact that we learn from Lynne Tillman that the artist intended to stay awake all day and night, so as to be able to paint for longer, brings us back to process. At least on one level, these paintings were going to be bigger because On Kawara was going to be spending as much of the 24 hours as he could working on the canvas.

How much bigger were these three canvases? I've marked out the size of each of them on the floor of my living room. July 16 would be the first canvas he painted at what he referred to as size H. That's 61" by 89".

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In order to build up to this, I've made use of - on the right-hand side of the frame - six size A canvases, the size (8" by 10") that On Kawara began the project in 1966, and which he would sometimes use when he was abroad, though size B (10" by 13") had come to be preferred. Along the top of the hypothetical frame I've made use of three blank canvases of Kawara's size D (18" by 24").

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You can see from the photo below that the books I have been consulting about On Kawara flesh out the frame, though I don't yet have enough volumes to complete the picture.

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A canvas this size would not have been painted in the same way as the smaller canvases. It would have been painted vertically, against a wall, not horizontally, on a desk. At least the artist had experience of painting in this way when he produced September 20,1966, the even larger painting that he destroyed because he spent more than twenty-four hours - possibly several days - painting it.

The Glenstone catalogue contains illustrations of the
Moon Landing triptych. Apparently, On Kawara was consulted on the design of the gallery, including materials, textures and light sources. I trust he would approve of my beige carpet. See how the paintings seem to float just above the floor!

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What the Glenstone catalogue doesn't provide is information or illustration about what else was going on in On Kawara's integrated practice at the time. Who did On Kawara meet from July 16 to July 21? I MET will tell us. Where did he go? I WENT will tell us. Perhaps he stayed in the studio the whole time, just as the astronauts were confined to their spacecraft. Who did On Kawara send postcards to? I GOT UP will provide that information. Was it Toshiaki Minemura and Konrad Fischer, or did he change recipients for this extraordinary event? What was the picture on the chosen postcards? And what time did he get up? Having said that he was going to watch all 24 hours of the TV coverage, did he stick to this? And did this apply just to the day of the moon walk or to the whole mission? Presumably the latter, or it would only have been July 20, 1969, that was super-sized.

As far as I'm aware, none of the On Kawara literature seems to cover any of these fairly obvious points. So I can't check it out. What can I do? Well, following a 20-year association between On Kawara and Michele Didier, limited editions of the complete I WENT, I MET and I GOT UP were produced between 2004 and 2008. Here is how they are advertised online:


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Reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holder.

The price for the set of three (36 volumes) is 70,000 Euros. Or for a single one of the series (12 volumes),17,000 Euros. What I am asking, via this text, is for a single community-minded owner of one of these exquisite editions to consult the 1969 volumes and to kindly make available to me, by scan or photo, the relevant pages for precisely these days of 1969: July 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20. Please step forward some generous On Kawara collector from Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France or Brasilia. Anonymity assured (if desired).

I will draw this to the attention of Jonathan Watkins, who, as he has been invaluable to this project to date, may be willing to approach an On Kawara connoisseur on my behalf. Of course, being UK based, he may not know anybody suitable, as most of the enlightened interest in On Kawara has been based in New York or Germany and surrounding European nations, an indication of how important On Kawara's early links with New York and with
Kasper König were.

It may be that this is something that the One Million Years Foundation may feel they can help me with. Or maybe not, because If I was part of OMY I'd be thinking that the existence of this complete edition made their intervention unnecessary. If I was part of it, I'd only be intervening where a question was being asked that only a close friend or family member would know the answer to. And I'd only be answering it if I thought that it was in the spirit of On Kawara's practice to do so.


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Reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holder.

So I'll have to wait and see. I'm imagining a postcard to Dan Graham on July 20, 1969. Stamped on it are the words "I GOT UP AT…" And then the rest of the sentence would be blank, because On Kawara had stayed up all day and night. You can't GET UP unless you first GET DOWN. I know from the 1968 postcards that Dan Graham lived on Eldridge Street in Manhattan, the second most southerly of the yellow circles on that map further up this page, so On Kawara may even have met him in the July 16 to July 20 moon landing slot. They may even have indulged in some Armstrong/Aldrin banter on the corner of Eldridge and Grand Streets:

109:43:16 Dan Graham as Buzz Aldrin: "Beautiful view."
109:43:18 On Kawara as Neil Armstrong: "Isn't that something! Magnificent sight out here."
109:43:24 Dan Graham as Buzz Aldrin: "Magnificent desolation." [Long pause.]

The Glenstone catalogue tells us that the three large paintings, for practical reasons, do not have the usual hand-made cardboard boxes to fit into, along with an extract from a newspaper printed on that same day. Instead, the cardboard boxes are smaller, designed to be big enough to hold an entire copy of The New York Times when folded once.


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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

For some reason, On Kawara made two boxes for the third picture. Perhaps because he couldn't choose between the merits of two newspapers.


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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

I should mention also that the On Kawara catalogue from Dallas Museum, where the Moon Landing triptych was shown in 2008, reproduces what On Kawara filed in his I READ for July 16, 20 and 21. (Again I ask myself: why did the editors not take the opportunity of reproducing the relevant I WENT, I MET and I GOT UP? Perhaps it was at the suggestion of the artist. Though once an artist puts work out into the world, it is fair game for researchers, curators and collectors alike.)


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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

On Kawara's red pen (in the above) indicates that it was the New York Times for July 17 that he took the story of what happened on the moon on July 16. But for I READ on July 20 (see below), he was able to extract an article from the same day's paper.


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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.


And for July 21, he had to revert to the usual system of needing to get info from the following day's paper. I wonder if the various red lines were guides to himself for subsequent cutting out, or whether he had an assistant to do this for him. After all, Neil Armstrong couldn't have done it all on his own. He needed back up.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.


On Kawara is in his studio. The studio at 340 East 13th Street? I expect so. Smoking and painting. Smoking, painting and watching NBC's 24-hour moon coverage. Would the channel have played David Bowie's 'Space Oddity'? Bowie had recorded the single in the weeks immediately before the mission, and released it in the days before, so why not? To fill up the airwaves when there was not a lot happening. Certainly I heard it back then. Though not quite in the way that I'm hearing it now:

"Ground Control to Major On
Ground Control to Major On
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on."


'Space Oddity' was inspired by the Apollo program, but its name derived from
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick, who together had worked on a script based on a 1953 short story by Clarke. The film came out in 1968, Kubrick having added a kind of poetry and profundity to the work. I imagine On Kawara had seen the film by July 1969. After all, his subtitles occasionally tell us he went to the cinema to see the most talked about films of the day. And this would have been right up his street.

But let me return to 'Space Oddity':

"Ground Control to Major On (Ten, nine, eight, seven, six…)
Commencing countdown, engines on (…five, four, three…)
Check ignition and may God's love be with you (…two, one, lift-off…)

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

"This is Ground Control to Major On
You've really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now it's time to leave the capsule if you dare…"

"This is Major On to Ground Control
I'm stepping through the door
And I'm floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today

For here…
Am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there's nothing I can do…"

Of course, Bowie had written the song before the moon walk. So - although drawing on the excitement of Apollo 11's mission - he was also drawing on the first space walk, which was done by a Soviet cosmonaut in 1965. I should add that the first American to do a walk in space, from Gemini 4, did so in 1965 as well, the year before the 'Today' series began.

In the Glenstone catalogue, as well as Lynne Tillman's essay, there is a reprint of an article first published in the July 26 issue of
The New Yorker. It paints a vivid picture of New York on the Sunday night/Monday morning of the moon landing.

'By 10pm, Sunday, twelve hundred people had gathered at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Fiftieth Street, between Radio City Music Hall and the Time-Life Plaza….Rain had been falling since 7.30pm…Umbrellas obscured some people's view of what everyone was trying to watch - a fifteen-foot by fifteen-foot screen on the western edge of the intersection, on which N.B.C.'s coverage of the moon landing was being shown in colour.'

'In the Eighteenth Precinct, on Fifty-fourth Street, west of Eighth Avenue, two patrolmen brought in a young man and a young woman in handcuffs. The couple were booked on suspicion of having mugged a man on West Forty-fourth Street at about eleven o'clock - or just about the time Armstrong was setting foot on the moon.

'Inside the Chess and Checkers Club of New York, which is upstairs at 212 West Forty-second Street, eighteen men sat at small tables over game boards in a silence that was broken only occasionally, by desultory remarks.

'To the customers in the Lincoln Bar, at the corner of Lenox Avenue and 2135th Street, in Harlem, man's first step on the moon was greeted more with a whimper than a bang.
"You don't really believe they walking on the moon?" The barmaid said to one of them. "I can see you aint ready for the moon yet. You still in another age, with the cotton pickin' machine. Or maybe you just in another orbit, with your Seagram's."
"Hell!" He said. "Where you at?"
"I'm a moon maid, baby."'

'In the ground-floor apartment of a brownstone in the East Nineties, at around eight-thirty, guests began to arrive at a moon-watching party that was being given by two young men just out of law school. Conversation about the moon landing was restricted to jokes or brief comments. Many people seemed to want something to happen that was more exciting than what could really happen.
"It would be great if they found an animal," one man said.'

'As the rain came down steadily and a premature darkness came over the city, hundreds of people streamed through Central Park and converged on the centre of the Sheep Meadow to join the Moon-In crowd that was already standing in a huge circle around three nine-by-twelve-foot television screens set up in triangular formation and tuned to three different channels. In front of the CBS screen, five young men in beards shared a large green-red-and-yellow striped beach umbrella; next to them stood a couple huddled beneath a bed quilt; and nearby three girls who had contrived a makeshift tent out of an Army-surplus blanket and a pair of sanitation trash baskets were playing scrabble. As the scheduled moment for the hatch opening approached, the crowd grew still, and every gaze appeared to be fixed on a television screen. Then came the announcement that the moon walk would be delayed for half an hour, and there was a sustained groan of disappointment.'

I suspect On Kawara would have finished his July 20 Date Painting before ten pm. By then he would have wanted to be concentrating on watching Armstrong descend the ladder and place a foot onto the moon. And if the walk was going to be delayed, that would make things even more awkward.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

There is a song that came out a year later, written by Gil Scott-Heron, inspired by the moon landing. The lyrics state:

"A rat done bit my sister Nell.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Her face and arms began to swell.
(and Whitey's on the moon)

"I can't pay no doctor bill.
(but Whitey's on the moon)
Ten years from now I'll be payin' still.
(while Whitey's on the moon)

"The man jus' upped my rent las' night.
('cause Whitey's on the moon)
No hot water, no toilets, no lights.
(but Whitey's on the moon)

"Was all that money I made las' year
(for Whitey on the moon?)
How come there ain't no money here?
(Hmm! Whitey's on the moon)

"Y'know I jus' 'bout had my fill
(of Whitey on the moon)
I think I'll sen' these doctor bills,
Airmail special
(to Whitey on the moon)."

On Kawara would have known where such lyrics came from. Didn't his Date paintings regularly refer to the inferior position of blacks in American society, to racial discrimination? And the references to Viet Nam, and, by implication the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Maybe there's a poem written by an Asian man or woman called 'Whitey and his bomb'.

So on many levels On Kawara would have been cynical about the Apollo Mission. He would have known that his Moon Landing triptych might just as well have been called the Cold War triptych. But, over and above this, there was something about the enterprise that he approved of. Mankind was making a mess of its own planet, but it was the noblest part of the species that was turning its attention to outer space. Any number of science fiction writers in the 1960s and 70s thought the same. To seek out new worlds and new peoples to humbly communicate with. To go where no human had gone before!

At twelve minutes to midnight on Sunday, July 20, President Nixon (who had already featured in a January subtitle of 1969, in a Vietnam context, before he'd become President) talked to Neil Armstrong. At midnight, On Kawara may have begun to paint the dark background of 21 JULY, 1969. Back to the
New Yorker:

'After the President had finished, it was announced that Armstrong had been on the moon for fifty-nine minutes, and suddenly Aldrin could be seen floating gracefully over the lunar surface as he performed mobility exercises.'

As usual, I expect On Kawara would have applied four background layers of acrylic. It would have taken longer than usual because of the size of the canvas, and because he had half an eye on what was happening on the TV set in the studio.

'At one o'clock, the voice of Mission Control told Aldrin to "head on up the ladder," and announced that Armstrong had been on the surface of the moon for slightly more than two hours.' Later, the article tells us, the TV screen showed a picture of the Lunar Module as it sat serenely in the Sea of Tranquility.

'The Sea of Tranquility'. Maybe On Kawara had that phrase on his mind as he went about his business, with his excitement under control. With his usual patience and meticulous attention to detail. Constantly checking the consistency of the hand-made lettering… Measuring, adjusting, measuring again, compensating…

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Below: Focussing on the word 'JULY'. Making sure the word as a whole was correctly placed. Making it work letter by letter.


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Below: Turning to the year, '1969'. Making sure the word as a whole was correctly placed. Making it work letter by letter.


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Below: Turning to the day of the month. First the '2'. Making it work in relation to itself and to all the other numbers and letters, both in that day's canvas and the previous two canvases.

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I should point out that these last three images are not intended to be accurate descriptions of On Kawara's process. Rather they seek to point out the integrity of his final forms. For an accurate analysis of process one needs to study the sequence of photographs that the artist made while he was painting several Date Paintings in the 1990s. For example, JUNE9,1991, in the book of that name; 6AUG.1992, in the Phaidon volume; 5.SEPT.1994 in SILENCE and MAR.30.1997, in the 'Consciousness/Meditation/Watcher on the hills' catalogue. Interestingly, the first three of these are size B canvases and I think MAR.30.1997 is as well. And, of course, they were painted more than twenty years after the Moon Landing triptych, and the artist's process may well have evolved in that time.

These four later Date Paintings show that the artist, with the aid of a ruler, marked out the position of all the letters in pencil. He then painted them white, but not always in the same way. On three of these four dates he painted the '1' of 199X first, perhaps because that was simple, and could assist with spacing. In the other he simply began with the first number/letter in the row. Similarly, in three of the four paintings (but not the same three as above) he painted the 9s in the year last. While in the other one of them, he painted the four numbers of the year
first.

I suppose it depended on how the artist felt on the day. If the curves were the trickiest bits to get right, he would do them when he felt at his sharpest. I don't suppose On Kawara would have felt at his sharpest for much of July 21, 1969. On the other hand, he may have been awash with adrenalin all through that day. This was the first occasion that he had painted a size H painting the day after having made the same effort of sustained concentration.

And finally… Not long after splashdown at 4.50pm… Correction, several hours after splashdown… Correction, not long before midnight… On Kawara decided that his epic Date Painting exercise was complete.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.


I have to say, putting together this page has taken it out of me as well. I was going to zip through to the end of 1969 this afternoon and evening. But I think I would have more chance of doing justice to the latter half of On Kawara's stunning year if I took a break and started a new page when I'm fresh.

End of moon mission. Oh, the sense of anti-climax!

I'll just put this lot away.

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I picture On Kawara emerging from 340 East 13th Street and staggering to 53 Greene Street. Companionship. Conversation. Laughter. And a ten-day rest from Date Painting. That's what he needed.

Email from Duncan McLaren to Kasper
König dated 15 April, 2021: 'I GOT UP AT 8.47 A.M. AND POSTED THIS.'

Next page.






NOTE: OCT. 11, 2021

A search of the library catalogue would suggest that the only copy of I MET that is in a public institution is held by the Art Gallery of Ontario.
The set was donated by Tom Bjarnason, now deceased, whose name I’ve seen in connection with the Toronto showing of an important On Kawara show called Pure Consciousness.

The Edward P. Taylor Library and Archives at the AGO has kindly listed for me the people who On Kawara met from July 16, 1969 to July 20, 1969. It is as follows, together with my notes:

July 16, 1969
Hiroko Hiraoka
Hirotsugu Aoki
Torlee Phillips

Wednesday. Hiroko crops up on all five days, as you might expect. On's close friend, Hirotsugu Aoki appears on three out of the five days. Torlee Phillips is unidentified. This is the first painting day of the moon landing triptych, and On would have had to spend most of it alone (presumably) in the studio

 
July 17, 1969
Hiroko Hiraoka
Chuck Frehse
Hirotsugu Aoki
Takashi Hashimoto
Nobumitsu Fukui
Miyuki Fukui

Thursday. Not a painting day. Takahashi Hashimoto crops up 4 times over the five days. Will this be the same person who appears on the I MET list in Mexico City every day of the last week in July, 1968? Altogether there were six individuals with a Hashimoto surname that On Kawara 'met' in July, 1968. Nobu Fukui was and is a practising artist. I have written to him care of the Stephen Haller Gallery, New York. I assume Miyuki Fukui is his wife. Chuck Frehse is unidentified.

 
July 18, 1969
Nobumitsu Fukui
Miyuki Fukui
Hiroko Hiraoka
Takashi Hashimoto
Hirotsugu Aoki
Soruku Toyoshima
Ushio Shinohara
Takeshi Kawashima

Friday. Not a painting day. Perhaps the Fukuis stayed until after midnight. Hiroko would be the first person that On Kawara 'met' in the morning. Takashi Hashimoto may have been staying with the Kawaras and so he was met in the morning also. Soruku Toyoshima, Ushio Shinohara and Takeshi Kawashima are all Japanese-American artists per Ansell Bray's information given while I was writing the 1973 essays. Ansell described Takeshi as the extremely sociable hub of a group of Japanese artists, often hosting games parties (chess or Mah-Jong) that could go on for days.

 
July 19, 1969
Soroku Toyoshima
Hirotsugu Aoki
Takeshi Kawashima
Hiroko Hiraoka
Nobumitsu Fukui
Miyuki Fukui
Takashi Hashimoto

Saturday. Not a painting day. The 'party' with Nobumitsu, Miyuki and Takeshi went on until after midnight. On and Hiroko might have been at that as well. Which makes it difficult to say where the actual morning meetings started. (Actually, this is true of the previous day as well.) Indeed it could have been a party that continued from one day to the next, as only one name has dropped out, from July 18, and that's Ushio Shinohara.
 

July 20, 1969
Takashi Hashimoto
Hiroko Hiraoka

Sunday. On would have sent most of the day at his studio painting the second very large painting of the moon landing triptych, commemorating the first ever moon walk.

July 21, 1969. Monday. Oh dear, I seem to have omitted to ask for the I MET list for this day. Never mind, the pattern is clearer now. But I'll wait until I have seen the I WENT maps and the I GOT UP AT postcards for the 6-day period before drawing a final conclusion about On Kawara's Date Painting process at the time of the Apollo moon landing.



NOTE: NOV. 24, 2021

Having established that the University of Michigan has a complete set of I WENT, I'm putting together list of days that I will ask for. Beginning with July 16 to July 21, 1969.