Open Call

“As it stands: Unrefined, muted, abandoned”

An Open Call for artists concerning the unfinished work.

Applications are now closed

Hundred Years Gallery invites artists to submit work to its third annual open call “As it stands: Unrefined, muted, abandoned”. The initiative is a project in partnership with Great Art, the number one online arts material supplier. The Call offers artists the possibility of being selected to participate in a group show at the Gallery, plus a number of prizes including a solo exhibition and three residencies at Great Art‘s new flagship store supplemented with art materials allowances.

This year’s edition will focus on bringing together a collection of works falling into the bracket of the unfinished, the incomplete and the discarded. The call is open for 2D works (painting, drawing, print, project or architectural plans), sketchbooks / artists books, small-size models / sculptures, and performance / durational pieces. For more information about the show, formats and restrictions please check the info and downloads below .The exhibition will take place from 6th to 23rd of July at Hundred Years Gallery.


About the Exhibition: The picture is in the omission

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. Paintings such as the ‘Adoration of the Magi’ by Leonardo da Vinci, with its different “levels” of completion, the visible under-drawing and tentative rendering might appear closer to a modern aesthetic that 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 (not entirely to the approval of contemporaries) the “incompleteness” of the piece part of its mastery.

The “unfinished look” however is not always as thoughtful, the reasons for a work of art to remain incomplete can indeed escape the control of the artist or be the result of his/her incapacity to solve certain problems within the piece. This is for instance the case with the already mentioned ‘Adoration of the Magi’ by Leonardo who abandoned the commission and left the work largely incomplete. Curiously an unusually large amount of preparatory sketches have been found for the piece which show the amount of thought that went into the un-realized work. Many examples can be found that show the limits of the artist’s control over the task, the extreme case being naturally the death of the author as in Stanley Spencer’s large mural ‘Christ preaching at the Cookham Regatta’.

Contemporary art tends to exploit the device perhaps 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. Painters like Alice Neel considered finished some of the portraits that would have been traditionally judged as incomplete. 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 ready-mades.

It is within this spirit that the open call and exhibition “As it stands: Unrefined, muted, abandoned” has been conceived. The initiative is open to all works considered unfinished by the artist or those representing him /her. The work will be judged on the grounds of its artistic merit and in relation to the work submitted as supporting material. The work unfinished character, as outlined above, could be for instance the result of a deliberate aesthetic or an external impediment that force the work into that state. Also we will be considering ‘works in progress’ or durational pieces particularly on the performance category.

The works will be selected by Montse Gallego, director of the Gallery and Jaime Valtierra, artist and curator in collaboration with the space.


Exhibition Dates: 7th to 23rd of July

Opening Night: 6th of July. 7:30pm to 9:30pm (First Thursdays)

Deadline for submissions:  Sunday 11th June (until midnight).


 For more information on How to Apply, Terms & Conditions and to download the Application Form click here:

How to Apply

Application Form

Terms and Conditions


About the Gallery

Hundred Years Gallery is a dynamic art space situated in Hoxton, East London supporting experimental and innovative art from London-based and international artists. The Gallery`s exhibitions programme is aimed at presenting a wide spectrum of contemporary art production with an emphasis on providing a platform for radical ideas and young or unrepresented artists. The space also provides opportunities for those in the arts to become part of its exhibition programme through annual open call and editions projects.

In addition to its visual arts programme, Hundred Years Gallery has a strong commitment to presenting new composed, improvised and experimental music and sound art in an excellent acoustic setting. Weekly concerts feature international artists and the best of of the UK’s new and most creative musicians, affordably priced and accessible to all.

Images above: “Adoration of the Magi”, Leonardo da Vinci / “Corporeal Disclosure”, Gallery view, Emma Hunter, winner of 2016 HYG Open Call.