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exhibition « Opalka 1965/1- ∞ »

From 14 February to 30 March 1986


This exhibition at the CCC constitutes the first presentation of the entirety of his programme with 20 acrylics on canvas, 9 on paper and 14 photographs, mostly displayed for the first time. A series of audio tape recordings of his own voice completes the exhibition. The paintings follow on one from the other, imagined as details in time, and the artist’s portrait is placed between every painting.


The artist explains his concept : « My basic position, the programme of my life, translates into a working process which registers a progression, both a document of time and its definition; […] I count continuously from 1 to infinite on canvasses of the same size, painting by hand with a paintbrush in white on a background to which each time I add 1% more white. A time will come when I will be counting in white on white. To each ‘detail’ [this is what the artist names each of his paintings], ) I add an audio tape recording of my voice saying the numbers while I paint and a photographic documentation of my face. » (Roman Opalka, 1972).


His art work represents the unsurpassed ambition of seeking to represent time. “Roman Opalka has completely identified himself with the concept that represents his life span, and does not accept the possibility of considering a piece of art as a work. His work will be only completed on the day after his death.” (Taken from the catalogue and written by B. Lamarche-Vadel)