Pablo Picasso, Self-Portrait with Wig (around 1898-1900) with Elizabeth Peyton's Napoleon (After Louis David, Le General Bonaparte vers 1797) (2005)
No one unfinished a painting like Picasso—only death finishes something, he once opined. The curators of the Met Breuer’s inaugural show Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible, which opens to the public on 18 March, have included ten works by the Spanish artist, more than any other artist. There are six by Rembrandt, five by Cézanne and a solitary Matisse. Picasso started unfinishing works early and never stopped. A precocious work is included in the show: Self-Portrait with Wig (around 1898-1900), in which he poses as a young Old Master. The Embrace with Exposed Male Genitalia (1972), which is considered the artist’s last painting, is included in the exhibition’s catalogue but the tangle of limbs didn’t make the Met Breuer cut. Diana Widmaier Picasso also points out in her catalogue essay that her grandfather’s masterpiece, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) is, in fact, unfinished. Handily the good-time girls are on display in New York’s Museum of Modern Art.