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One, #3

Ken Ohara (American, born Japan, 1942)

Date:
1970
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
25.4 x 20.3cm (10 x 8 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2001
Accession Number:
2001.486.3
Rights and Reproduction:
© 1970 Ken Ohara
  • Description

    Ohara's "One" was featured in the Museum of Modern Art's 1970 exhibition Information, which first summarized Conceptual Art for the wider public. The series in its entirety (published as a book without text) comprised nearly a thousand brightly lit, startling close-ups of blank, anonymous faces in seemingly every color, shape, and texture. In one concise gesture, Ohara synthesized many hallmarks of 1960s Conceptualism: the deadpan typological photography of the Bechers; the seriality and random sampling seen in Warhol and Ruscha; and the modular progressions of primary structures common to the Minimalist sculpture of Judd and Lewitt. By imposing a standard format on a plethora of diverse faces, the artist recalls modern rituals such as the mug shot, passport photo, or police line-up, which filter individual subjects through the homogenizing, bureaucratic systems of contemporary life. The result is what Ohara described as "a telephone book of faces."

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed, dated, and inscribed in pencil on the verso, C: "ONE [underlined] 1970 PAGE 3 // Ken Ohara"

  • Provenance

    the artist, via Stephen Cohen Gallery, Los Angeles

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
284740

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