Opalka 1965/ 1-∞

In what is turning out to be a biannual tradition, we took a vote at OU Blog HQ and agreed that we’re sick to death of how the blog looks and it’s time for something new.  Fortunately for us (and unfortunately for him), the artist Roman Opałka passed away recently and we learned about his amazing art project.

Roman Opalka

Starting in 1965 and ending when he passed away on August 6th, Opalka worked on a single art project he called “1965 / 1 – ∞”.  What was it?  Every day Opalka would paint numbers in numerical order on large canvases.  He started with 1 in 1965 and was to 5,500,000 by 2004 (we couldn’t find his last number).  Talk about dedication!

In Opalka’s honor we’ve used his artwork as the theme of this year’s OU Math Blog.   To read more about him, look here, here, and here.


4 thoughts on “Opalka 1965/ 1-∞

  1. When I took my first calculus class, it was my senior year of high school (1987). The textbook that we used was titled The Calculus. The front and back cover featured Roman Opalka’s work. Inside the front cover, there was an explanation as to what the rows of white numbers on a gray background meant and what the artist was trying to do. I’d love to find that book and buy it if possible. The problem is that any Amazon or Google search yields too many hits. Without an author or ISBN, I’m searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack.

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