Roman Opalka

Roman Opalka

Roman Opałka was born on August 27, 1931, to Polish émigrés in Hocquincourt, northern France. He and his family returned to Poland in 1935, only to be deported to Germany after the Nazi invasion. After being liberated by the United States Army in 1945, they moved back to Poland, where the artist studied lithography at a graphics school before enrolling in the School of Art and Design in Łódź. Opałka later earned a degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and began experimenting with abstract and monochrome paintings, which he called Chronomes. In 1965 he began his 1965/1 – ∞ project, to which he would devote the majority of his life’s work.

Opałka began exhibiting in Poland in the mid-1960s, and by the early 1970s was represented in solo and group exhibitions throughout Europe and in Asia and Latin America. His first trip to the United States came in 1972, and his first American exhibition opened in 1974 at the John Weber Gallery. In the forty years since then, Opałka's work has been showcased in scores of gallery and museum shows worldwide. His retrospective exhibitions and writings in several languages, as well as his participation in events such as Documenta 6 (1977), the XIX Biennial of Sao Paolo (1987), and the Venice Biennale (1995, 2003), have brought him global recognition.

In 1977, Opałka moved to France, settling at Teillé, near Le Mans. He obtained French citizenship in 1985, and in 2009 he was awarded Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He died in Chieti, Italy, in August 2011.

Dominique Lévy began representing the Estate of Roman Opalka in 2012, since 2017 has continued to represent the Estate as Lévy Gorvy. Work by the artist is held in major museum collections, including the Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Kunsthalle Hamburg, Hamburg; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Nationalgalerie, Berlin; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.


Selected Works

  • Chrome II


    Tempera on canvas

    24 x 24 inches (61 x 61 cm)

  • 1 - ∞ Détail 2806353 - 2828874OPALKA


    Acrylic on canvas

    77 3/16 x 53 1/8 inches (196 x 135 cm)

    Signed and titled (on the reverse; title constitutes the artist's signature)

  • 1 - ∞, Detail - photographie 2787231


    Acrylic on canvas

    9 7/16 x 12 inches (24 x 30.5 cm)



Other Exhibitions

Selected Press

Art News | Reviews: New York

November 1, 2014

In 1965, the French-born Polish artist Roman Opalka (1931–2011) began his magisterial project 1965 …

Hyperallergic | Roman Opalka’s Numerical Destiny

October 6, 2014

In 1965, the French-born, Polish painter Roman Opalka came to an important decision. While sitting at …

The Culture Trip | Opalka’s Art and Life: Challenging the End of Time

October 3, 2014

French-born, Polish painter Roman Opalka was deeply concerned with the material capture of the intangible. …

art critical | Everything and Nothing At All: Roman Opalka Painting Infinity

September 22, 2014

Dominique Lévy supplies the back story to French-born Polish artist Roman Opalka with a show of works …

Artnet | David Ebony’s Top 10 New York Gallery Shows for September

September 22, 2014

1. Roman Opalka at Dominique Lévy, through October 18 “Roman Opalka: Painting ∞” is a rare US …

Artslant | Fade Into White: Roman Opalka's Infinity

September 22, 2014

The magnitude of entropy overcomes one who moves along the two floors of Dominique Lévy’s gallery, …

Art Observerd | New York- Roman Opalka: “Painting ∞” At Dominique Lévy Through October 18th, 2014

September 18, 2014

There’s any number of ways to approach Roman Opalka, whose work sits at the center of Dominique

TimeOut New York | The top five New York art shows this week

September 10, 2014

With an art scene as prominent and ever-changing as New York’s, you don’t want to miss these essential …

Artforum | There Goes the Neighborhood

September 10, 2014

EVERY YEAR, for the two weeks following Labor Day, the art and fashion worlds own New York. Runway shows …

New York Observer | At Lévy Gallery: The Obsessions of Roman Opalka

September 5, 2014

“I’m going to mark my words,” said dealer Dominique Lévy. “This exhibition is most probably …

Architectural Digest | Looking Back at Roman Opalka's Attempt to Paint Every Number

August 31, 2014

Some people count sheep. Some, calories. Others, pennies. The French-born Polish artist Roman Opalka …

Artslant | September in New York: Maneuver the mania

August 28, 2014

There is a shift in every August when this art critic’s inbox goes from near vacancy to nearly too …

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