The triptychs, diptychs, and larger series of Détails were never expressly executed by Opalka to constitute separate or exceptional series in his oeuvre. In opposition to the diptychs or triptychs of the history of classical painting, the details that make them up were not painted to give way to works of autonomous significance, differentiated in the logical progression of the 1 – infinity program, which would have been in contradiction with the entirety of his process. The concept of the triptych (or of the series of Détails following one another without any break in their numerical continuity) does not result from the implementation and pursuit of a program, but from the various acquisitions of the Détails that precede or follow the triptych.
The unique grouping of several successive Détails, three in this case, thus makes it possible to remain faithful to Opalka’s desire to see his oeuvre exhibited in uninterrupted series, following a rhythmics of proximity, as well as in the presentation of distinct moments in the program’s evolution.
The present triptych corresponds, in this fullest sense, to the intention of Opalka’s program. Triptychs of Détails remain rare in public and private collections. Other triptychs are housed at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; MUMOK, Vienna; the Menil Collection, Houston; the Lenz Schönberg collection; and the Fondation François Pinault.
Signature: Signed and titled (on the reverse; title constitutes the artist's signature).
Wroclaw, Musée de l’Architecture, OPALKA 1965 / 1- , August - September 2001- (Panel 3).
Hamburg, Kunsthalle, Monets Vermächtnis, Série : Ordnung und Obsessio (L’héritage de Monet, Série : Ordre et Obsession) , September – November 2001 - (Panel 1 and 2).
Soisson, L'Arsenal, Vanités contemporaines, February-April 2002; also traveled to: Quimperlé La Chapelle des Ursulines, July – September 2002; Martigues, Musée Ziem, 2002 (Panel 1 and 2).
Rome, Istituto Polacco, Galleria di Pino Casagrande, Vis à vis : Opalka et Pistoletto, November 2002 (Panel 1 and 2).
Rotterdam, Museum Bijmans Van Beuningen, Shine, February – March 2003 (Panel 1 and 2).
Venice Biennale 50, Basilicata Potenza, Individuel Systems. Dreams and Conflicts. The Viewers Dictatorship, June – November 2003 (Panel 1 and 2). Bordeaux, CAPC Musée d'Art Contemporain, L’œuvre en Programme, February – May 2005 (Panel 1 and 2).
Bergamo, Chiesa di Sant’Agostino, Visioni, 20 Artisti a Sant’Agostino, April - June 2005 (Panel 3).
Luxembourg, Casino, En attente, July - September 2005 (Panel 2).
Le Cateau-Cambrésis, Musée départemental Matisse, Avant-gardes polonaises, July- October 2006.
Saint-Priest-en-Jarez, Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain de Saint-Etienne Métropole, Octogone OPALKA, May – July 2006 (Panel 1).
Warsaw, Galeria Zacheta, Peinture polonaise du 21ième siècle, December 2006 - February 2007 (Panel 1).
New York, Cueto Project, OPALKA 1965 / 1- , Cueto Project, New York, May - June 2007 (Panel 1 and 2).
Palermo, RISO Museo d’Arte Contemporanea della Sicilia, Essentiel Experiences, November 2009 – February 2010 (Panel 1 and 2).
Paris, Yvon Lambert Gallery, Roman Opalka Passages, September - October 2010 (Panel 1, 2, and 3).
Venice, Galleria Michela Rizzo, Roman Opalka, Il tempo della pittura, June - October 2011, p. 46-47 (Panel 1, 2 and 3).
Venice, Palazzo Bembo, Personal Structures, May - November 2013 (Panel 3). New York, Dominique Lévy Gallery, Roman Opalka: Painting , September - October 2014, pp. 86-99 (illustrated in color) (Panel 1, 2, and 3).
Collection of the Artist, Teillé
About Roman Opalka
Painter and photographer Roman Opalka is best known for his lifelong project, 1965/1 to Infinity (1965-2011), in which he painted white numbers in long rows across a gray background. “The fundamental basis of my work, to which I have dedicated my life, manifests itself in a process of recording a progression that both documents time and also defines it,” he says. As Opalka ran out of space on each canvas he would continue on to the next one. Over the course of his series, he began taking self-portraits and reciting the numbers into a tape recorder upon the completion of each canvas. He also slowly started adding more white to the background with each successive painting, intending to tie the unfolding of the artist’s life and aging process to the transcription of time on his canvases.
French-b. Polish, 1931-2011, Abbeville-Saint-Lucien, France