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Robert Kipniss Lithographs and Mezzotints

I bought my first Robert Kipniss lithographs in 1984 -- and quickly knew that I would someday present an exhibition of his work. Four years later the gallery became a sea of quiet complacency, defined by the dream-like landscapes and urban scenes of the Kipniss mind. The images are clearly representational, yet there is something hauntingly different about them.

The captivating imagery is always devoid of people, yet life is displayed in a spray of leaves and full bushes. I like the unusual, yet well-defined certainty of his ethereal imagery, the soft color palette, and the richness of his newer work. Special people with unusual sensitivity are easily drawn to Kipniss' lithographs. The images stay with you as though you've known the scene from an earlier day. The work almost feels like an old friend.

Kipniss is soft-spoken, and thoughtful. His original lithographs are easily matched to the artist. I like them both.
-- Roy Saper

Robert Kipniss was born in 1931 in New York City. He attended and/or graduated from the Art Students League, New York City, 1947; Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio, 1948-1950; University of Iowa, Iowa City with a B.A. in English Literature, 1952, and a Master of Fine Arts in Painting and Art History in 1954. His work is in the public collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City; The British Museum in London; Chicago Art Institute; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia, Cali, Colombia, S.A.. Selected prizes and awards include the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Purchase Prize, 1988; and the election to the National Academy of Design, 1980.

A note to our friends and collectors of Robert Kipniss lithographs and mezzotints....

We have sold all the Kipniss original prints in our inventory.  We appreciate the many inquiries and requests received for Kipniss limited editions and wish we had more to make available to you.

Should you wish to add to your collection, please e-mail us now and we will advise you if and when we are able to again make available the Kipniss lithographs and mezzotints that you have enjoyed in the Saper Galleries inventory during the past 20 years.

Thank you very much.

With all due respect to the artist and collectors of his work,
Roy C. Saper

Robert Kipniss Reflections

Mr. Kipniss remembers, "When I was a child my family moved to a small town on Long Island.  There was a long tract of woods a half-block from our house that led all the way to the next town.  Very quickly I discovered these woods and explored them, at first tentatively, then gradually more boldly.  I particularly enjoyed being there alone, and I began feeling the great pleasures of being among the trees and leaves, the sky peeping through here and there, the glimpse of a house’s gable with perhaps a window, sometimes with what seemed a mysterious curtain lit by a dim lamp.  I remember very clearly how magical it seemed, and how important it was for me to keep returning there to have these private vivid moments.

It was to be many years before I realized the feelings were within myself, provoked to my consciousness by these surroundings.  That somehow, even then, whatever my very innermost thoughts and feelings were, alone, in the woods, still just barely in sight of homes and town, these thoughts and feelings were freed to cognition, sometimes euphoric, sometimes eerie, but always intense, and always with deep pleasure.  Pleasure, of course, is addictive, and having an excessive nature I have pursued this pleasure with my life."

The artist’s art is the attempt to grasp the intensity of these moments, whether a feeling, a thought, or an atmosphere. Looking back at the images of a life time, the individual works of Robert Kipniss are like maps of a hegira begun so early in childhood, and formed over a lifetime.

Robert Kipniss (Born in 1931)

Selected Public Collections
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Princeton University Art Museum
Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, NY
British Museum
Los Angles County Museum
Chicago Art Institute
Detroit Institute of Art
Cleveland Museum
Museum of Fine Art, Houston
Wichita Falls Museum, Texas
Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge University, U.K.
Museo de Arte Moderno, La Tertulia, Cali, Colombia, S.A.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Mass.
National Collection of Fine Arts, The Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC
Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Yale University Museum, New Haven, Connecticut
New Orleans Museum of Art
The Butler Art Institute, Youngstown, Ohio
Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio
New York Public Library
The Johnson Museum at Cornell, Ithaca, New York
Achenbach Foundation, De Young Museum, San Francisco
Dubuque Museum of Fine Arts, Dubuque, Iowa
Bodleian Library, Oxford University, U.K.
Jane Vorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers, NJ
The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
The National Academy of Design, NY
The Century Association, NY

Selected Public Exhibitions
Gallery New World, Dusseldorf, Germany, 1996
Redfern Gallery, London, 1995
Enatsu Gallery, Tokyo, 1990, 1988, 1987
Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH, 1993, 1979
Davidson Gallery, Seattle, WA, 1993, 1983, 1982
The Bruce Museum, Greenwich CT, 1981
Hirschl and Adler Gallery, NY, 1980, 1977
Kalamazoo Art Institute, Kalamazoo, MI, 1979
Gerhard Wurzer Gallery, Houston, TX, 1997, 1990, 1988, 1986, 1981
Wichita Falls Museum, TX, 1997

Robert Kipniss -- the Art

The ‘Kipniss house’ is often windowless, improbably sited, apparently sealed yet one that seems a mythic structure of a child’s depiction of a house.  Or consider the Kipniss ‘interiors’ with the vases, beakers, chair-backs and utensils.  These simple objects, superficially invite some collective nostalgia that have been refined to totemic abstraction, their forms speaking a powerful, uncompromising language.  Lastly, the most intensive are the Kipniss ‘trees’.  Potent and dramatic.  Full, they spring like geysers on a hillside; stripped of leaves, they stand naked against the sky. The leaves, often distanced from their source but informed by their own vitality, can be found surprised in their stillness, or schooling like fish.

Kipniss works do not threaten; they beguile and invite. If one allows herself to enter these works, to become lost in this strange universe, she will find an emotional landscape of power, substance, and unremitting passion.

“Robert Kipniss’ art is ever evolving yet his central themes of isolation, longing, journeys and discoveries have remained true.  Kipniss has created over the decades a vocabulary of unique symbolic imagery; meandering pathways, homes with few or no windows and doors, leaves unattached to branches. Compositionally, the artist twists the viewer’s sensibilities confounding our perspectives on interior and exterior motifs.  In this way, Kipniss offers a subtle Surrealism, exploring our conscious and unconscious dreams and desires for places and things not yet traversed.”

-- Hexton Gallery, Hong Kong and New York

Contact Saper Galleries now for further details on these and other limited editions by Robert Kipniss and information on the acquisition of Kipniss oil paintings.

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This page updated 6/14/03