Title Pending

This exhibition strives to depict a series of work that represents incompletion in a variety of forms. An omnipresent aspect of the human condition, the unfinished somewhat paradoxically implies both possibility and finality. Above all, incompletion encompasses the chance of failure, success, and everything in between. Title Pending assists its viewers in recognizing the contradiction of the unfinished, and ultimately leaves them with a new way to contemplate incompletion.

This sketch of a minimalist installation piece is anything but simple. The idea presented within his subject matter suggests an unformed, incomplete idea that has yet to be carried into reality is something to be produced for a viewer as an art piece of its own accord. The handwritten notes highlight the nascent formation of his ideas while the black smudging in the background of the piece emphasize the unfinished quality of his sketch.
The abrupt shift from watercolor to pencil is the key to Rottmann’s technique in this painting. Not only does it expose his process of work, it also highlights the beauty of both the finished, colored piece and the quick pencil sketch. His decision to leave part of the piece incomplete makes the focal point of the piece, the red building, stand out all the more, and demonstrates incompletion can be striking.
Translated Vase pieces together the incomplete shards of broken pottery into an undulating and unexpected form. The gold Yee uses within the glue that melds the pottery together hints at her theme – the beauty and value that can be found in the unexpected union of otherwise incomplete objects. Unused pottery shards are left behind the piece to highlight the unfinished, shattered artworks that comprise the origins of the sculpture, yet their inclusion is not negative. Instead, the shattered work shown alongside the completed piece hints at new uses for this broken pottery, and hints at the possibilities held within even the seemingly useless and incomplete shards.
Broken piano keys, are scattered across the floor in front of a lit upright piano, a single sheet of music placed on the stand. Suchan Kinoshita’s installation piece removes all the unnecessary piano keys for playing the music piece the piano holds. The incomplete piano, stripped of much of its beauty and utility, demonstrates that things that are incomplete cannot impact their viewer as much as complete things can – the broken piano will never play more than one song, and thus the incomplete object cannot ever achieve its complete artistic efficacy.
An owl looms above the observer in Kim Myung Sook’s Searcher, messily created with jagged ink markings that emphasize the unsettling character of the piece. This study of characters in Kafka’s work exhibits incompletion - the piece itself is incomplete without the books Kafka wrote, dependent upon his words for the creative concept of the piece. If an observer had not read any Kafka, their grasp of Kim’s concept would be incomplete. Yet, as the viewer, one can still be affected by the piece without understanding the link to Kafka’s animal-inspired humans, thus opposing The Fragment in Itself by insinuating that incomplete work can still be effective in influencing the observer.
The product of three artists (Bellini, Dossi, and Titan) working on the painting in succession, The Feast of the Gods is an example of how an unfinished piece can lead to collaboration and growth. Lively and complex, the painting is a masterwork made possible by its initial incompleteness.
Superimposed fighters, bright colors, and vivid lettering cover a wall, arranged around and on top of one another in a vibrant collage of art styles and content. Jaz’s Untitled shows the positive aspects of sharing creative space, where each piece seems incomplete without the other and the artwork works together as a whole. However, Untitled, like many other graffiti walls, also demonstrates another facet of incompletion – the wall will never really be ‘finished,’ as artists will continue to paint on top of each other’s work over and over. Thus, the artwork exists within a constant state of incompletion.
A photograph of "Three Boys" by Murillo, this piece represents a powerful visual connection to themes of childhood, growth and personal development. The clearly featureless figures in the mural combined with the children obviously being instructed send a powerful message about the potential inherent in the unfinished child.
Composed of flowing lines and nebulous forms, Mother and Child represents the fluid possibility of a relationship. The mother and the child in her embrace are in the process of defining their connection to one another. Because the dynamic is unformed, indistinct, there is tremendous uncertainty about what type of relationship will be built. It could be one of warmth and love - or it could be something more complicated.
This piece, focusing on an elderly man staring into the distance, relies heavily on the connotations of the viewer. It brings up thoughts of age, of the end of life, and with these the terror of unfinished dreams. It is in this projection that we find our examination of incompletion. The thought of life’s eventual end brings with it the terror of the unrealized.
This unsettling sketch reflects a deep pain present in Khalo’s life. Terribly injured in an accident as a young woman, the artist suffered not only from a debilitating pain, but an inability to carry a pregnancy to term. The piece reflects this reality, and the tragedy of the loss of her unborn children emanates from the piece.
Frida and the Cesarean deals with the same pain (the loss of the artist’s unborn children) as the previous piece. The uneasy tension between the group of white, sterile physicians in the background and the nude gore of the foreground tell the story of the artist’s terminated pregnancy. It is a glimpse into the dark tragedy of the unfinished, the sense of loss and regret it can bring, and the way it can torture a mind for years to come.
Speech by Adolf Hitler in a State Visit to Hamburg exhibits an unfinished construction site of a building behind Hitler, while hundreds of people in the crowd all salute him. The looming structure of scaffolding behind him is eternally unfinished, much like Hitler’s plans. The viewer can see that, while when photograph was taken the incomplete building was likely seen as a hopeful demonstration of his wealth and power, now the building is representative of Hitler’s dictatorial dreams – thankfully incomplete, and thus a positive representation of incompletion.
The Sagrada Familia in Spain is likely the most famous of incomplete buildings, as its construction began in the 19th century and continues through today. This representative painting highlights the unfinished quality of the building through its messy strokes that make it seem as though the viewer is looking through opaque glass, and is therefore unable to see the subject clearly. While the painting itself seems unfinished, and the Sagrada Familia is indeed unfinished, both are works of art unto themselves regardless of their incomplete aspects, and thus demonstrate the beauty of incompletion.
In the Judeo-Christian religious texts, people infamously attempted to build a tower to Heaven that was never completed as God thwarted their attempts. This mythical incompletion symbolized human hubris and was meant to teach listeners that they would never be able to attain total, godlike power. The tower represented in the painting, true to the story, has scaffolding along the top of the tower, with crowds of people abandoning their work in the foreground. With this piece, Tower of Babel, Bruegel illustrates the incompletion of both the building and the coveted knowledge that these people craved and would never attain.
Deeply connected to the myth of Sisyphus, the Corinthian king doomed for eternity to a never ending and futile task, this piece twists the tragedy of this fate into something else. A round form composed of intricately interwoven bands, the sculpture seems to emphasize the beauty of Sisyphus’s recurrent and never ending cycle. His work is never finished, and this creates the beauty of recurrence.
Though this piece also relies on the myth of Sisyphus, it reflects a much darker take on incompleteness. The dark, foreboding colors, combined with the pained contemplation of the figure within the painting, conveys the oppression of the Sisyphean cycle. There is a weight, a finality in this recurrence that comes from the reality of its eternal unfinishedness.
Kcho’s work often deals with the plight of Cuban refugees attempting to make the dangerous journey to the U.S. His constructions are deliberately precarious, conveying the fragility of these people lives and the constructions they depend on. Sin Titulo is no exception; it represents not only the tragedy of the all too frequently unsuccessful odysseys of the Cuban people, but the failings of the revolution’s initial hope and idealism as well.
Examining this piece, Man Entering a Room seems like a bit of a misnomer. Although he is entering a room, his back is turned to the viewer. His figure is mysterious; the entire scene is reminiscent of a film noir atmosphere that resonates with an untold narrative. Everything about this painting - the dark figure, the glimpse we are offered into the room, even the objects sitting on the table - hint at a story. And yet we lack the information to complete this narrative. It is unfinished, allowing us an uneasy space of ambiguity in which to contemplate the possibilities.
This print, Exodus #15, by Peter Lipman-Wulf, shows the moment when Moses was punished with the statement that he would die before he reached his promised land – when he struck the rock twice, and God became angry with him. Although Moses lived a long life, it was ultimately incomplete as he was unable to reach the place he lived his life in search of because of this single moment, and the dark colors and chaotic strokes of the piece reflect this upset, imperfect, incomplete life.
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