We tend to think of documents as things that provide answers, but documents can also provoke questions. This can be seen clearly in the study of art-making as document work, since the power of art is not in how it can represent reality, but how it can pose questions to reality. In this paper, I examine the work of 19th-century artist Paul Gauguin, which proceeded through iterative abstraction and productive reproduction. Gauguin's document work was a mode of questioning with the epistemic and communicative aim of understanding.

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