The creative process is not always smooth and straightforward. Often, artists must correct, alter, and radically rethink their efforts to marry vision and reality, intention and execution. At stake is the artist’s ultimate decision: Is it good? Working proofs in such scenarios can represent crises or crossroads. Wrong choices can be made, but they can also be counteracted. This gallery highlights projects that involved negative responses to proofs — no. The sequences of impressions show intermediary rejections, reversals, edits, and deletions, as well as a radical change in perspective. The final prints in this gallery are all successes — approved, signed, and published — but they reached this state only after the artist had rejected or revised a prominent early component of the work.

Banner image: Detail, Chris Ofili, Habio Green (working proof 8), 2009, color spitbite aquatint with watercolor and graphite additions, Crown Point Press, © Chris Ofili, Courtesy David Zwirner, New York / London

Next: Julie Mehretu