Historically they are many well-known examples of unfinished works. Some of these may contain (perhaps characteristically to a modern observer), a particular force often lacking in finished works by the same artist. The ‘Adoration of the Magi’ by Leonardo da Vinci, with its different ‘levels’ of completion might appear closer to a modern aesthetic than his more polished pieces. Moreover, and in quite a deliberate way, artists like Titian or Rembrandt developed styles that were ‘open-ended’ and that avoided the ‘classical finishing’, making the incompleteness part of its mastery.
Contemporary art often tends to exploit this device in an attempt to simulate the dynamic and transitory character of modernity, or the devaluation of the image in the age of mass media and digital communication.Is it then only possible to consider a work unfinished in relation to the artist’s output from the same period?
Given the nature of contemporary art practice, this could very well apply to some artists but not to others whose practice could be based on a premise of deliberate incompleteness. It is also in many cases down to the artist to judge a piece finished when the opposite seems to apply. The search for structure and design, initially promoted to the forefront of the work by painters such as Paul Cézanne opened a new chapter for the history of the unfinished piece and the voice of the artist as judge of his own creation, most poignantly with Duchamp’s readymades.
The open call and exhibition As it stands: Unrefined, muted, abandoned has been conceived in this spirit, and features works considered unfinished by the exhibiting artists. The visiting public are invited to vote for their favourite artist or work in the show, and the artist with the most public votes will be awarded a solo exhibition in Hundred Years Gallery.
As part of Hundred Years Gallery’s creative partnership with GreatArt, the top three artists will also be awarded weekend residencies at GreatArt‘s new London store, supplemented with art materials allowances
First Thursday Opening : July 6th (6:30 – 9:30pm) will include performances of durational works from the ‘As It Stands’ exhibition
Screenings : Saturday 22nd July (films from 7 to 9.30)