Roman Opalka

Alte Nationalgalerie

In 1965, when he was living in Warsaw, Roman Opalka developed the radical concept of OPALKA 1965/1-∞ that has taken the form of over 180 ‘details’ in paintings, photographs, and audio tapes. Opalka himself describes his method as follows: “In my attitude, which is a plan for my life, the process of working is preserved, simultaneously documenting and defining time. The date of the first ‘detail’ in 1965 is important for me, and from this my entire oeuvre has followed. I write, paint constantly the numbers from 1 to infinity with a brush in white paint on a gray ground. Each successive detail has approximately one percent more white than the previous one. Thus I am working to the point where white will be on white. Each detail is accompanied by a tape and a photographic image of my face.”

This exhibition documented the radical consequences of Opalka’s work through 22 “details,” 22 self-portraits,

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