Roman Opalka

(France 27 Aug 1931 – 06 Aug 2011)

1965/1-∞: detail 3531681-3546420

Not on display
Further information

In 1965 Roman Opalka began a painting project counting from 1 to infinity. Starting in the top left hand corner and finishing in the bottom right, the canvas is filled with horizontal rows of tiny consecutive numbers. Each new painting, which Opalka calls a ‘detail’ takes up counting where the last left off. Each detail is the same size and all have the same title, ‘1965/1-∞: detail’

In Opalka’s first details he painted white numbers on a black background. In 1968 he changed to a grey background and since 1972 has gradually lightened the grey adding 1% more white to each new detail. In 1968 he also began recording, with the use of a tape recorder, the numbers as he paints and at the end of each day photographs his face. Documenting the passage of time, Opalka says the project will only be completed when he dies.

synthetic polymer paint on canvas
195.5 x 135.0 cm
Loan of Rotraut Klein-Moquay and Daniel Moquay
Accession number