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Born in 1931 in Hocquincourt (France), died in 2011 in Chieti (Italy).

Roman Opalka, a very talented young painter, had Eugène Delacroix as a model. He could have been satisfied with his painting at the time.

But he was looking for a project that brings something quite different to art and makes history. From 1965 until his death, he devoted himself to his life's work, the goal of which is to mark the mark of an irreversible time.

His means of expression are mainly his Details (series of numbers painted on canvas), photographic self-portraits and sound recordings of his voice. On canvases measuring 196x135 cm, Roman Opalka exhausted himself in relentlessly inscribing digital progression.

The numbers are about 5mm high, painted with a size 0 brush. He started painting white on a black background and from 1972 he added 1% white to each background of new canvases.


In 2008 came the moment when he logically ended up painting white on white. He called it the “deserved white”.

For Roman Opalka, it is impossible to interrupt his work yet he has to travel, he has fragile health ...

In 1972, Roman responded to this by not interrupting his work when he traveled to socialist countries.

He always finishes the “painting detail” in progress before a planned trip departure and continues to write the series of numbers in black ink on A4 paper. These are the “travel cards”.  Roman Opalka does not paint time, he materializes it through a monomaniacic work, The Details, which is based on three elements: his paintings, his recordings and his photographs.

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