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."
Inscription: Signed, dated, and inscribed in pencil on the verso, C: "ONE [underlined] 1970 PAGE 14 // Ken Ohara"
the artist, via Stephen Cohen Gallery, Los Angeles
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 31," January 28, 2002–May 19, 2003.