Yes, No, Maybe
Masterpieces, the story goes, spring fully formed from the dark imaginings of temperamental geniuses moved by intuition, inspiration and epiphany. Such revelations can certainly fuel the creative process, but so too can auspicious accidents, false starts and even failures. In printmaking, occurrences ranging from mishaps to premeditated changes are typically recorded in preliminary impressions known as working proofs. Each proof offers an artist the chance to assess and adjust the course of the project; whether it represents the revelation of a crisis, a crossroads or a potential new direction, each proof demands a decision: yes, no, maybe. Featuring 125 working proofs and edition prints produced by 25 artists between 1972 and 2010 at Crown Point Press in San Francisco, one of the most influential printmaking studios of the last half-century, Yes, No, Maybe goes beyond celebrating the flash of inspiration and the role of the imagination to examine the artistic process as a sequence of decisions. Among the artists represented here are those with long ties to Crown Point Press and its founder Kathan Brown--Richard Diebenkorn, John Cage, Chuck Close, Sol LeWitt, Pat Steir and Wayne Thiebaud--and those whose association is more recent, such as Mamma Andersson, Julie Mehretu, Jockum Nordström, Chris Ofili, Amy Sillman and Fred Wilson.