MAYBE

  • Yes, No, Maybe: Maybe /content/dam/ngaweb/features/exhibitions/yesnomaybe/Maybe/MaybeInstall/1.jpg

    Pat Steir, Kweilin Dreaming 51, 1989, and Kweilin Dreaming 88, 1998; Laura Owens, Untitled (LO 425) (working proof), 2010: installation view; visible in gallery beyond is Wayne Thiebaud's River Edge, 1997

  • Yes, No, Maybe: Maybe /content/dam/ngaweb/features/exhibitions/yesnomaybe/Maybe/MaybeInstall/7.jpg

    Pat Steir, Kweilin Dreaming 51, 1989, and Kweilin Dreaming 88, 1998: installation view; visible in gallery beyond is Julie Mehretu's Circulation (working proof), 2005

  • Yes, No, Maybe: Maybe /content/dam/ngaweb/features/exhibitions/yesnomaybe/Maybe/MaybeInstall/2.jpg

    Laura Owens, Untitled (LO 425), 2010, installation view

  • Yes, No, Maybe: Maybe /content/dam/ngaweb/features/exhibitions/yesnomaybe/Maybe/MaybeInstall/3.jpg

    Laura Owens, Untitled (LO 425), 2010; Wayne Thiebaud, Park Place (working proof 9), 1995; Park Place (working proof 13), 1995; Park Place, 1995; Black and White Park Place, 1995; Park Place Variation, 1995; Amy Sillman, Ohad + Nomi, 2006; Memory 2, O + N, 2006: installation view

  • Yes, No, Maybe: Maybe /content/dam/ngaweb/features/exhibitions/yesnomaybe/Maybe/MaybeInstall/6.jpg

    Amy Sillman, Ohad + Nomi, 2006; Memory 2, O + N, 2006; O & N (study after memory drawing), 2006; O & N, 2007; O / N (working proof), 2007; O & N (working proof), 2007; O & N, 2007: installation view

Each stage in the creative process contains a series of choices — a work can develop in any number of ways. In effect, each working proof represents many possible beginnings or — maybe — a conclusion. This final gallery of the exhibition features artists who embraced the speculative and open-ended nature of the creative process. For them, testing the possibilities and permutations of reworking an image is as interesting as the image itself; the path of creative discovery trumps any preconceived ideas about the final destination. Being receptive to what may develop is essential. Maybe, these projects suggest, there is no such thing as an ultimate or right choice; instead, there are many potential resolutions.

Banner image: Detail, Pat Steir, Kweilin Dreaming 51, 1989, color woodcut with hand-painting on silk mounted to paper, Crown Point Press, © Pat Steir

Next: Pat Steir