Towards Counting | Collection Co–selection

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Roman Opałka

Towards Counting

sketch; ink, pastel, cardboard; 21x30 cm

Roman Opałka was fascinated by numbers from the start of his career. In the first years after graduation, he created works focusing on numbers as figurative signs. In 1965, he began working on the Programme, which became his trademark recording the passage of life (and its artistic meaning) by painting sequences of consecutive numbers. Before the artist took up this challenge, he experimented with various numerical representations. The sketch Towards Counting comes from this period.

Towards Counting is a sequence of white numbers written on cardboard painted with black ink. The sketch contains various sequences of numbers and gives the impression of a search for a way of recording them and the correct typographic form. It is likely that the title of the work was chosen later, when the artists Programme was refined and implemented.

Roman Opałka was a painter and graphic designer. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź and the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. He received many awards and participated in prestigious international art exhibitions, such as the São Paulo and Venice Biennials and Documenta in Kassel. He was born in France and after being repatriated to Poland, he returned there permanently in 1977.