Candida Höfer: On Kawara, Date Paintings in Private Collections
From 2004 to 2007, the noted German art photographer Candida Hofer traveled the world to photograph Japanese-born, New York-based Conceptual artist On Kawara's iconic Date Paintings in the homes of private collectors. Because this series of paintings always and only depicts one specific date--in bold, white, capital letters against a darker monochromatic ground--collectors often choose their own for a sentimental reason like a birthday, a special anniversary or an important day in history. Because of this, the paintings are often given pride of place within a collection; in many cases they are situated in a place where the collector spends much of his or her time. All this being said, Kawara is widely considered one of the most important artists of the postwar era, and his work can be found in many of the most significant private collections in the world--among them Friedrich Christian Flick's, Leonard and Luise Riggio's, David and Monica Zwirner's, Kasper König's, Jutta Linthe and Walther König's, Thomas Struth's and Yvon Lambert's. Thus Hofer's photographs capture the paintings in very good company, both in terms of their artistic companions and of the overall aesthetics of the spaces they inhabit.