A year or two back I saw about three dozens of Kawara’s paintings from the Today series at Dia:Beacon. For me, seeing a roomful of canvases with dates neatly painted on them was a weirdly unsettling experience. The dates range from the 60s to the 2000s, arranged around the room and probably counting up to the 2000s in  chronological order (I could not remember clearly how they were positioned). At first I was just amazed by the artist’s dedication to the (almost) daily ritual of painting that day’s date onto a canvas with nicely hand crafted letters and numbers. The paintings are of the dates they were painted, they also show through their medium (paints and brushes on a canvas) the actual passage of time when they were being created. After spending more time in the room, the painting started to remind me of death. Each painting in that room was a portion of the artist mortality, a few hours within a day of his life. With the dates silently counting up, I couldn’t help but wonder when the artist reached the end of his life and whether he stopped painting the series right before his departure. Seeing the April 24, 1990 painting on its own at MoMA is a different kind of experience. The painting on its own does not evoke the same fear of death in me, but it does give more significance to the particular date it paints.