For the second time I'm going to change pace and cover a ten-year period in one essay. The last time I did so it was the 1980s, when On Kawara went from being 47 to 57. Now it's 1997- 2007, when the artist went from age 64 to 74. Should I be expressing that in days? No, I don't think so.

I've been able to benefit from a Zoom call with Jonathan Watkins, director of the Ikon in Birmingham, who may have known On Kawara as well as anyone outside the family in this period. Jonathan curated two shows, both of which toured, with all the complications that implies. This meant regularly being in touch with both On and Hiroko. In this ten-year period, he met On at least once a year, staying in the spare room of the New York flat on several occasions. He also visited On a few times in Paris and stayed with him once in a house close to Mount Fuji.

Jonathan Watkins first met On Kawara in 1997 when he was organising the Sydney Biennale that would open in September 1998. The director's theme was 'Everyday', and he was drawn to art that aspired to directness, art that resisted gratuitous mediation. The introduction to visit On Kawara in his studio came via Lyne Cook. When Jonathan mentioned the name of the show to On, the artist - laughing - said that with such a title he would simply have to be in it. At that first meeting Jonathan cited an essay by Anne Rorimer in
Date Paintings in 89 Cities, which begins with a quote from Tolstoy:

'I have keenly experienced consciousness of myself today, at 81 years, exactly as I was conscious of myself at 5 or 6 years. Consciousness is motionless. And it is only because of its motionlessness that we are able to see the motion of that which we call time. If time passes, it is necessary that there should be something which remains static. And it is consciousness of self which is static.'

The idea of placing Date Paintings in a kindergarten was discussed. On's children had their 18th and 19th birthdays in 1997, so they weren't kids anymore. Though it's likely that they had grown up with Date Paintings in their immediate vicinity. Indeed, how could On and Hiroko have resisted hanging up a nourishing, serene, Date Painting or two in the rooms that Akito and Sahe slept in, whether the rooms were in New York or Japan? More to the point, Jonathan had a daughter who was 4 in 1997, and this is what gave him access to a kindergarten in Sydney.

On had painted ten days in a row at the beginning of January, 1997. It was decided that the first seven paintings only would be exhibited, as this would represent the days of the week. Although the paintings were not to be used as didactic teaching aids, nevertheless they would have been ways to reference the numbers one to seven, the month of January, the days of the week, and the idea of a year. 1997? What is a year anyway? What was it that happened 1997 years ago? And the class bursts out laughing at the thought of such an infinite stretch of time.

If the children had been a year or two older, it might have been more appropriate to use all ten of the paintings made on consecutive days of January, 1977, as a counting aid. But a choice had to be made, and the days of the week were prioritised for this age group.

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

On Kawara created three size 'A' paintings and four size 'B'. January 1, 1997, was a Wednesday. Which means that Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday were 'bigger' days than Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I can see these paintings might have created problems as well as opportunities for the teacher. Hence On Kawara's insistence that they not be explicitly used in lessons. Just let them
be there in the same space as the children. Children who grow up with Date Paintings for company simply can't go wrong in later life!

Is that all I'm going to say about 1997? Almost. On Kawara made a total of 45 Date Paintings in the year, but the ten in a row he made from the start of January was the most notable Date Painting event. Oh, and he didn't travel to any new cities in either 1997 or 1998. In 1998, the only Date Painting binge was eight days painted from July 12 to July 18. These (all black, all size 'A') were sold at a Christie's auction in New York in 2002 for $260,000. To get that in perspective, an Andy Warhol silkscreen print,
Big Electric Chair was sold for $4,500,000. But it's the On Kawara lot I'm interested in, every time. Who owned the Dates before the Christie's sale? I don't yet know. How strange that a collector would invest in a run of eight Date Paintings and then get fed up with seeing them after less than five years. Though it probably wasn't like that. Perhaps someone could let me know.

In 1999, a total of 43 Date Paintings were made. And again there was a run of consecutive days from August 1 to 8. What accounts for these periods of seven or more days in a row of Date Painting? I imagine it was something that On Kawara very much liked to do for its own sake, almost like exercising a muscle. He still had enough energy for it. His social and professional commitments didn't swamp his 'everyday' existence. Indeed, by this time it may have been his way of feeling that he was still alive.

Although On Kawara didn't travel to any new cities in 1997 or 1998, in 1999 he made Date Paintings in Manila, the Philippines (7 JAN.1999) and Zurich (20.JUNI1999). In both cases the usual convention with commas and full stops is departed from.

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

Actually, that's a point. When a Date Painting is made in a French territory, as above right, why is there a dot between the number of days and the month in some cases but not in others. 3 OCT.2004 or 17 OCT.2004, for example. And the answer is that Swiss is not French (JUNI is not JUIN), and the convention in Switzerland is its own.

In the second half of 1999, On went to New Delhi (DEC.8,1999) and Fuginomija, Japan (30 DEC.1999):

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

Fujinomija is a city in Japan in the vicinity of Mount Fuji. So it couldn't be that far away from the house that Jonathan Watkins stayed in. Which may be the Kawahara house in a suburb to the south of Tokyo, the one that On visited as far back as 1970. I need to research that, but not now.

No newspaper was bought on 30 December, 1999, though there were extracts from papers boxed with the other three Date Paintings in new cities from 1999. Perhaps On Kawara was having a news-free end of year focussing on the sight of Mount Fuji instead.

In 2000, On Kawara made 44 Date Paintings. He made two in new cities. That is, Taipei, in Taiwan (9 JAN.2000), and Abidjan in the Ivory Coast (31MAI,2000).

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

Abidjan? Apart from a trip down the west coast of Africa (not quite as far south as Ivory Coast) in 1973, On Kawara had not been in Africa. However, Abidjan was the third venue for
Pure Consciousness, the kindergarten project having been hosted by Reykjavic in 1999 after Sydney in 1998. So perhaps On wanted to see how his Date Paintings were being responded to by African kids. Not sure if getting permission to be in the kindergarten would have been easy, but then when you're the artist, surely there are strings you can pull.

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

A small booklet was produced at each manifestation of 'Pure Consciousness
'. Jonathan Watkins was conscious that each show had no audience, except the children, so it was important for some kind of photographic record to be kept and made available to the art loving public.

At present I don't know at what time of year 'Pure Consciousness' was up in the Abidjan school. It's possible that something about the African context intrigued the artist and he just wanted to visit the city, and didn't even see his show at the kindergarten.

The only other thing I've noted on the Date Painting front in 2000 was the production of a small red Date Painting every second day for a period of ten days in November. They feature in a photo in the Candida H
öfer book, taken of a private collection in Fullerton, a town in California:

Candida Höfer, 2005. Reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holder.

The dates are clear in the book, not so obvious in my scan: 12 NOV,2000, 14 NOV,2000, 16 NOV,2000, 18 NOV,2000, 20 NOV,2000, I imagine that On Kawara did this set of paintings, made them available through his American dealers, and they were bought that way. I don't imagine a collector walked up to On Kawara and told him he wanted such and such days in such and such colours. No, I don't think that's how it worked at all.

Kasper König had not departed On Kawara's life. In October 2000 he organised a show of 'I WENT' and 'I GOT UP AT' which was on show in Munich from 21 October to 14 January, 2001. On the back of this, On Kawara Horizontality/Verticality was published by Walther König (Kasper's brother) in Cologne. I can't emphasise enough how important this initiative was. I made the most of the sublime book when covering the years 1969 to 1979.


Even though On Kawara was entirely concentrating on Date Paintings by this stage, he would surely have been in Munich before this important show closed. Although possession of the book for a sustained period would beat a whole day spent at the show every time. This work needs time to be savoured. I obtained my copy when I was writing about 1971, back in the spring of 2021, and I'm savouring its contents still.

Onto 2001. A total of 52 Date Paintings included the new cities of Stuttgart (4. JUNI 2001) and Amsterdam (6 OKT.2001). Stuttgart was not a new city though, On had made Date paintings there in 1989, at least ten of them, and one was duly reproduced in
Date Paintings in 89 Cities. However, no Stuttgart painting from 1989 was reproduced in Date Painting in New York and 136 Other Cities, so that partly explains why a 2001 Date was reproduced there instead.

More dot shenanigans, as you can see:

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

If both the Dates and been painted in Germany, the one on the right would have had an additional dot after the 6. If both had been painted in the Netherlands, the one on the left would not have had a dot after the 4.

It's pretty late in the day for me to be noticing this, but the dot between the number of the day and the letters of the month are there in a Date Painting made in Germany, but not in a Date Painting made in France or Japan. Therefore, in most cases it should be possible to tell if a Date Painting was made in a Japanese or French or German context. Which might be useful to know, on occasion.

On Kawara also painted a Date in Birmingham, and I'm reproducing it at a larger size to underline its relative importance.

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

The article in the box includes the paragraph: '"Not that I'm not proud of being from Birmingham anyway, but now there's such a buzz about it. I think the Dome was the turning point for a lot of people - it was neither one thing nor the other, stuck out at Greenwich. People said 'Why didn't they build it in the Midlands and then we could all have got up there'."'

Jonathan Watkins has told me that On stayed at the Novotel close to the Ikon Gallery. There is no question that the director of Ikon would have been singing the praises of Birmingham's cultural regeneration, given that the Ikon was a vital part of this, and the choice of newspaper extract probably reflects that fact.

Having agreed to present his work in Birmingham - on condition that Watkins wrote the main essay for the forthcoming Phaidon monograph about him - Kawara was doing what he often did prior to showing his work in a city, spending a few days there. As well as make a Date Painting, he obtained measurements of the Ikon, so that he would be able to produce a scroll that represented the gallery walls with all the proposed Sunday Date Paintings spaced out along it.

Unlike 'Pure Consciousness', which was fundamentally Jonathan Watkins's idea, the show at Ikon was one that On had conceived. Basically, 'Consciousness, Meditation, Watcher on the Hills' consisted of a Sunday Date Painting from each year from 1966 onwards. There would also be a reading from the Million Years books and some 'I AM STILL ALIVE' telegrams. But no 'I GOT UP AT' postcards and no 'I WENT' maps. Possibly this was because so much of this work had been extensively covered by the show that Kasper K
önig had organised for Munich. Not that this was of much relevance to residents of the West Midlands. But it may have been on On Kawara's mind when he conceived the show.

I've written in depth about this show in the
essay covering 2002, in section two of this website, so I'll try not to repeat myself here. After leaving Birmingham, On painted for eight days in a row again, from July 1, 2001, but I'm not sure where he was based by then. Jonathan Watkins doesn't know either, though he suspects that On returned to New York after being in Birmingham.

In 2002, On Kawara made 42 Date Paintings. No new cities, but the painting below was made in 'Margaree Centre' which suggests to me that he was still salmon fishing in Nova Scotia on occasion. Margaree Centre is, of course, barely a village.

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

'Consciousness, Meditation, Watcher on the Hills' was on show in Birmingham from 20 November 2002 to 26 January 2003. The plan was for it to move on just to the Consortium in Dijon, France, which had been an important institution for the artist, hosting the Kawara and Giacometti exhibition and publishing
Whole and Parts. So the show was up there from Feb 21 to 12 April, 2003, and On saw that leg with Jonathan. But then a curator that Jonathan knew from the Centre of Contemporary Art in Geneva got in touch, asking if the show might travel there, and after that another European gallery expressed interest. So Jonathan Watkins spoke to On about the very realistic prospect of the show touring much more extensively. On agreed to this on the one condition that the show had to tour in a clockwise direction. This was not an arbitrary suggestion, but fitted in with the progress of Sunday dates clockwise through each gallery. So in 2003, the 'Consciousness/Meditation/Watcher' on the Hills show went from Birmingham to Dijon to Geneva in quick succession, then to Kleve in Germany in October, for which On Kawara had painted a 2003 Sunday Date Painting, being SEPT.14,2003. The show remained on display in Kleve through to the year-end.

In 2003, On painted 36 date paintings. Basically this was just two or three per month, plus a string of eight consecutive days in May. As usual when On did this kind of exercise, it was the first eight days in the month. Is that right? Let's see:

1997: First ten days of January
1998: Eight days, July 12 - July 18.
1999: First eight days in August.
2000: Five days, every second day in mid-November.
2001: First eight days in July.
2002: Not applicable.
2003: First eight days of May.

Interesting that the significantly recurring pattern is the first eight days in a month, not seven days. The seven-day week, having been emphasised in 'Pure Consciousness', lost out subsequently to the eight-day… what?… Paintathon?

The 'Pure Consciousness' show was still touring post-Abidjan, having been to Shanghai (2000), Leticia, Columbia (2001), Istanbul (2001), Avignon, France (2002), Lund, Sweden (2002), Tolkiara, Madagascar (2003), Bad Blankenburg, Germany (2003). Now, in 2004, it would show up at a kindergarten in London and then Timphu, Bhutan. I don't think On Kawara was visiting these places, and nor does Jonathan Watkins, but it's possible that he was dropping in occasionally at some of them, either before, during or after the show.

In 2004, the Consciousness/Meditation/Watcher on the Hills show closed in Kleve, Germany, on Jan 11. It opened on March 6 in Braunschweig, again Germany, and was there until April 25. Then a bit of a gap before opening in Bangkok (still moving clockwise round the world) from 22 September to 17 October. By this time, On Kawara had painted this while staying in Fort Worth, Texas:

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

For the Bangkok leg of the tour, On had added a Sunday from 2004 to the show. Jonathan Watkins has told me an anecdote about that. The curator had stopped off in Cologne and had met On in the foyer of a hotel where On handed over the new Date which Jonathan put straight into his computer bag.

On the plane, working on the talk he was going to give at the Bangkok opening, the curator thought he would do something vaguely performative for the audience, since he would have the painting with him. He was going through his diary for the day in question, intending to say what he had been doing while On had been painting the Date, when he realised that there was something wrong. On the chosen day, he had a meeting at the BBC, which was certainly not something that would have happened on a Sunday. Sure enough, On had given him a Date Painting that was a weekday.

When the plane stopped off en route, Jonathan took the opportunity to phone Hiroko and On and report the error. There was no question that the Date Painting had to be returned and a new one provided:
MAY9,2004. Later, Jonathan told me, On found the story very funny.

On painted this next Date in Lourdes, perhaps having gone there to calm himself down:

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

He then painted two more Date Paintings in new places, both French territories. First, Bastia on the Isle of Corsica, then Limoges in the middle fo France.

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

Previously at this time of year, On would have been in New York. But clearly he had decided to do bit of low-key European travelling. After all, he had had the option of basing himself in his Paris flat for several years by this time.

From Bangkok the show moved to Singapore, where the exhibition was open from 11 November to 19 December. It might seem odd for On to choose to visit Bangkok at this time, below left, with his show finished. But something about the show's reception in the city may have aroused his interest.

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

The last 'new city' of the year was Calcutta, above right. It's possible that, in addition, On visited Singapore, not for the opening of 'Consciousness/Meditation/Watcher on the Hills', but to catch up with the substance of the show. But as he'd Date Painted in Singapore before, in 1991, any Date Painting he made this time around would not be reproduced in
Date Painting in New York and 136 Other Cities.

In 2005, On made 46 Date Paintings, up from 42 in 2004. Again he seems to have travelled a bit in Europe, this time in May, making Dates in three places on the west coast of Europe. First Auray, a town of 10,000 people in Brittany. Then Porto and Lisbon in Portugal, cities sure enough.

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

Three days after making the Date in Lisbon, the painting was photographed (see below) by Candida H
öfer in Paris. So I presume this is an image of On Kawara's Paris flat. In other words this is a concealed piece of biography, almost a portrait:

Candida Höfer, 2005. Reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holder.

What do you see in the above picture? A plain fireplace, an unwatched TV, a white woven rug… and On Kawara, a frail 72-year-old man looking at his latest Date Painting. He would make a Date Painting the next day, presumably in Paris, 29 MAY,2005. There was no stopping him.

On Kawara made three Dates in a row from August 1, and three in a row from September 1. A variation on the pattern set up since 1997. These crop up in Candida H
öfer's book, in the Vanmoerkerke collection, in Ostend, Belgium. The photo was taken in 2007 and was one of the last to be taken for the book. Certainly there are no later Date Paintings photographed amongst its pages.

Candida Höfer, 2007. Reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holder.

All the pictures are the same size and colour. I guess On Kawara was bearing in mind the three August dates when painting the three September ones. He would never paint as many as three consecutive days again. Did I say he was unstoppable? He was stoppable all right, just as we all are. Time stopped On Kawara. But first it slowed him right down.

Meanwhile 'Consciousness/Meditation/Watcher on the Hills' was still making its way clockwise around the world. It was in the Museum of Art, Toyota, in January and February, 2005, along with a new Date,
2JAN.2005. Then to New Plymouth in Australia from 12 March to 8 May. Then it opened in New Mexico on July 7. Jonathan Watkins gave a talk at each of these openings. On Kawara kept track from a safe distance. He sent a telegram to Jean Pfaff, on 8th of June, 2005. Jean Pfaff was the French artist who had seen some 'I GOT UP AT' postcards sent by On Kawara from Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1973, and had been greatly impressed. In 1977 while himself working at the art college in Halifax, Jean Pfaff tracked down postcards of the same ten locations and sent these to On Kawara in New York. Which in turn prompted On to send Jean his own 'I GOT UP AT' postcards in 1978. The 2005 telegram from On said 'Save the date. 07 JUL 05. La collection JUMEX'. That was On Kawara telling Jean that his show was opening in Mexico at that time. Apparently, the telegram came from Santa Clara, so On Kawara was in Mexico in 2005, a month before his show opened there. Perhaps he took the opportunity to brief the local curators. He had not been happy with the Toyota curation at the start of the year, where the Dates had been placed on the floor, like gravestones.

In 2005, the 'Pure Consciousness' show was at Bequia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, in the Caribbean. In 2006 the seven Date Paintings from 1997 were on the wall of a kindergarten in Toronto and then at Shimantogawa, Japan. It was in this last town that On Kawara made the Date Painting, below left, so obviously he was still bearing in mind where his work was in the world and making occasional trips in connection with it.

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

Quite an intellectually exciting life really. Date Painting at home in New York or Japan or Paris. Or, occasionally, painting somewhere new. While bearing in mind that a Sunday from each of the last forty-odd years of Date Painting was on show in a major venue, and would be, in due course, moving clockwise to another international venue. While bearing in mind that Date Paintings of the first seven days from 1997 were on the walls of a kindergarten classroom elsewhere in the world.

In February of 2006, On Kawara also made a Date Painting in the city of Sendai (above right). That information comes from
Date Painting in New York and 136 Other Cities. But another source of information tells us that the Date Painting below was made in February of 2006, also in Japan:

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

This is a most significant Date Painting, partly because it was part of the set acquired by Dallas Museum of Art in 2007. The set, consisting of one Date Painting from each of the five decades that On Kawara had been making Dates, was as follows:

MAY 25, 1966

The actual paintings clearly illustrates how his lettering changed over the period. These would be part of the important show of On Kawara's work shown at Dallas in 2008, so I'll talk about it in the next essay. But for now I must mention that for the first time since the 1966 to 1972 period, a Date Painting was given a sub-title other than the day of the week it was painted on. The subtitle for 5.FEB.2006 is the Esperanto phrase: ''Regardi la teron kun kosma konscio', which translates as 'To view the earth with cosmic consciousness'. I suspect On Kawara only gave the painting this sub-title when he knew it was going to be part of the Dallas acquisition and show, probably in 2007.

There were only 38 Date Paintings made throughout 2006. On only two occasions did he make Dates on consecutive days. In the summer he made another little tour of European cites.

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

That's Monte Carlo (left) and Vagnes, Pont d'Arc (right) above.

And Munster (left) and Montfavet, Vaucluse (right), below.

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

Next is a map showing the European tours taken in 2004 (purple spots), 2005 (green spots) and 2006 (orange spots). The Munster, Germany, trip seems to be an outlier from the 2006 tour of French towns on or near the Mediterranean.


At the beginning of 2006, 'Consciousness/Meditation/Watcher on the Hills' was at the Power Plant, Toronto, until early March. Then at Lima for April and May, by which time 19 FEB,2006, painted in Japan, had been added to the exhibition. Finally, all the Date Paintings were installed exactly where they had been four years earlier at the Ikon, this time from 26 July to 17 September, 2006, with the addition of the four new pictures from 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. Jonathan Watkins reckons it was one of his sharpest ever curatorial initiatives, and so what if the press didn't exactly get it. Did On Kawara see this second presentation of his work at the Ikon, when nothing had changed but everything was different? I expect he did, but have yet to confirm this with Jonathan.

And so to 2007. A total of 39 Date Paintings were made. Beginning with the first two days of the year, continuing with January 22 and 23, On Kawara painted consecutive days exactly six times in the year, which is the most distinctive pattern. As for new cities, on 22 January there was a painting made in San Jose, in Costa Rica, which was obviously where the painting was made the next day also. And in summer he made his fourth consecutive annual tour of European cities.

21 and 22 June Antwerp
July 15, Manchester;
July 17, Glasgow;
July 19, Edinburgh;
9 and 10 Aug, Andorra la Vella

As you can see, there was a UK mini-tour within the five European dates. The UK tour (3 Date Paintings in 5 days) seems to have missed out London and Birmingham (Jonathan does not think On stopped off in Birmingham in summer of 2007). Instead it was the northern English city of Manchester, and the Scottish cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh that On visited. At 74 years old, I doubt if On Kawara was invited by Glasgow School of Art or Edinburgh School of Art, though both organisations would have warmly welcomed him. I suspect he quietly slipped into the country as a private - very private - individual.

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

Both the extracts from Scottish newspapers feature football stories. So On Kawara noticed that he'd stepped into a country/culture that was obsessed with the game!

If On had still been doing his 'I GOT UP', 'I WENT' and 'I MET', I would be able to extract so much biographical context from this time in the UK. But, of course, he wasn't. And so I must move swiftly on.

The following map summarises On Kawara's new European cities from 2004 to 2007. Many French and German cities, as well as a few Spanish and Italian ones, had been visited in earlier years, so by this time On Kawara was a seasoned European traveller.


Actually, the seasoned traveller idea might be better served by a map which shows all the places where On Kawara made Date Paintings inside Europe over the decades. That means adding the layers I've already created featuring French and German cities. And bunging on all the other European cities (black circles) that are featured in
Date Painting in 89 Cities and the 136 Cities book.


Salient points… The long residencies in Stockholm and Berlin… The fantastic support On Kawara got from various German parties (eg Kasper König, Konrad Fischer, René Block, Rüdiger Schöttle, the Froehlichs) in the '70s and '80s… Establishing himself in Paris by buying a flat there in the '90s… Never putting a foot in Eastern Europe, not even after the fall of the Berlin Wall… Never putting a foot in Ireland, not even the Dublin of Beckett and Joyce… Eventually exploring Britain, before it was too late.

Back in the United States, in the fall, On Kawara visited Salt Lake City (Sep 23.) and Hartford (Oct 24). Salt Lake City being in Utah, towards the west of the country, below left. Hartford being a city on the north east coast, below right.

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

The 100-Year-Calendar confirms that both these new cities were where On Kawara made paintings on consecutive days again. So he was still furthering his long-term project, albeit with reduced energy levels. It's almost as if when Date Painting in the first two days of January, 2007, presumably in New York, he decided that whenever he was in a new place that year he would try and paint on consecutive days. And he managed that in San Jose (Jan.), Antwerp (Jun.), Andorra (Aug.), Salt Lake City (Sep.) and Hartford (Oct). Which precisely accounts for the five further times he painted two days in a row in 2007. On Kawara was nothing if not systematic. Though what he achieved in 2007 is a long way from the awesome feat of painting that he achieved in the 1960s and 1970s, for example, at least one Date Painting every day for the first three months of 1970.

2008 would turn out to be a special year though. One that deserves an essay to itself.