Rarely seen as a full week, each date of this week belongs to the "TODAY" series, which the artist considers a single, continuous work that will be completed at the end of his life. Each painting represents a single day, and its date of execution is represented laterally in a uniform typeface across the canvas. Although the text gives the impression of having been mechanically reproduced, in fact each letter, number and punctuation mark is skillfully hand drawn in white, then painted over a black background. The background is made up of four or five layers of paint, while the white text normally requires six or seven layers.
Paintings from the "TODAY" series are successful in weaving the abstract notion of time with the concrete, staid tradition of painting. Since letters and number function both as visual elements as well as symbols, On Kawara has managed to locate time in a place, and render it as it takes place.
While also known for his postcards, books, telegrams and readings, the "TODAY" series is Kawara's most significant body of work. By tying his fascination with the temporal and infinite to the long tradition of painting the artist manages to ground the conceptual in two-dimensions, complete with representational imagery.