Artist Roman Opalka Attempted to Paint to Infinity


Roman Opałka was a French-born Polish painter whose medium was numbers and specifically, infinity. In 1965 he began painting the process of counting – from one to infinity. While we often think of art as the expression of emotion, there’s something startling, something starkly beautiful about the expression of process. Starting in the top left-hand corner of the canvas and working to the bottom right-hand corner, the tiny numbers were painted in horizontal rows. As of July 2004, he had reached 5.5 million.

Opalka painted white numbers on a grey background and in 1972 he decided he would lighten the background so that one day he would be painting white numbers on a white background. ” My objective is to get up to the white on white and still be alive,” he said. The artist lived until August of this year, unfortunately, he never reached his goal of infinity or white on white. Check out some of his paintings after the jump and let us know if you think this constitutes art.

[via triangulation]