Friday, August 12, 2016


There’s been a renewed interest in unfinished works of art recently. You can see loads of them via OTNSTUDIO but it has never been usual to show unfinished work publicly. However, that said, a recent Auckland exhibition called Arrested Practice at Northcote's Northart Gallery looked at unfinished work in this case as ‘a work in progress’. But recently in New York this idea was taken to a whole new level in the major exhibition Unfinished. It included works that were incomplete for all sorts of reasons - politics, health, dealer interference, etc – and because it was organised by the Met the loans were astonishing. Included in the works that ranged across 600 years of Western art were these two paintings by Cezanne and Picasso. Their incomplete state shows the bones of the ideas which hung side by side nail why Cezanne was so essential to the development of Cubism. Something else the exhibition also resolved was the question, how do you know when an artwork is finished? You don’t.
Images: left, Paul Cézanne Gardanne 1885-86 and right, Paplo Picasso's The Sacré-Coeur 1909-10