Brendan McGorry presents Finished Unfinished, a series of conspicuously and deliberately unfinished works. Building upon his exploration of historical art, McGorry references the famed unfinished works by the Old Masters. Through either abandonment or happenstance, artists have left paintings unfinished. By doing so, they have revealed their artistic process and fed into an age-old fascination with the inner workings of the artist’s studio. Notable unfinished works that have influenced McGorry include Leonardo da Vinci’s La Scapigliata, with its highly refined features of a young woman’s face surrounded by the scratchy impressions of where her hair is yet to be filled out, and Rembrandt’s The Jewish Bride, a study of light and form comprising entirely of expert cross-hatching.
McGorry has similarly granted us a peek into the artistic process through a series of studies of ambiguous subjects, sometimes emulating the unfinished compositions of his famous references. Unlike those references, however, McGorry has made intriguing and precise decisions around when to cease working and leave an artwork unfinished. The result is a living artwork, existing somewhere between emerging and complete, with salient traces of the artist’s hand.
Aaliya, acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 1600mm x 900mm Private Collection
Less, acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 1500mm x 1030mm
Clare and Banksy, acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 1550mm x 1130mm
Izzy, acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 420mm x 500mm
Aaliya 13, acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 740mm x 985mm James Wallace Collection
Isla, acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 740mm x 980mm