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Seen in Solitude: Robert Kipniss Prints from the James F. White Collection and Recent Paintings by Robert Kipniss
March 4 - May 14, 2006
(above: Robert Kipniss, Clear vase and Landscape, 1995, Mezzotint, 9 3/8 x 14 inches, signed Kipniss and 66/75)
The New Orleans Museum of Art is presenting two exhibitions featuring the work of the distinguished New York artist Robert Kipniss. Seen in Solitude: Robert Kipniss Prints from the James F. White Collection and Recent Paintings by Robert Kipniss, both organized by NOMA, are on view until May 14, 2006.
Following its premiere in New Orleans, Seen in Solitude, the first museum retrospective devoted solely to Kipniss's graphic production, will travel to four other museums in Richmond, Virginia; Orlando, Florida; San Antonio, Texas; and Jackson, Mississippi. The exhibition was organized by Daniel Piersol, until recently Curator of Prints and Drawings at NOMA and now Deputy Director of the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson. A fully illustrated catalogue, with essay by Piersol and interview with the artist, is available from NOMA's Museum Shop.
(above: Robert Kipniss, Nocturne: still life w/two vases, 2004, Mezzotint, 19 1/2 x 13 inches, signed Kipniss and 74/75)
Seen in Solitude features eighty-six lithographs, drypoints and mezzotints, selected from prints created by Robert Kipniss between 1986 and 2004. All of the prints were lent by James F. White, a long-time collector and patron of Kipniss. Recent Paintings by Robert Kipniss features thirty-five works dating from 2001 through 2005. All come from the collection of the artist and most have never been exhibited before. Kipniss's work has been featured in hundreds of solo and group exhibitions during the past fifty years and his work is represented in over seventy American and international museum collections.
(above: Robert Kipniss, Studio Flowers, 1982, Color lithograph, 24x18 inches, signed Kipniss and 33/150)
Robert Kipniss's paintings and prints all deal with three subjects: spare still lifes, interiors filled with humble objects found in any middle-class American household, and evocative landscapes. His paintings and prints are meticulously produced with great technical mastery. His images are always devoid of the human figure and explore notions of contemplation, loneliness and reverie.
(above: Robert Kipniss, Winter, 1977, Color lithograph, 17 x 12 7/8 inches, signed Kipniss and xv/xx, edition 100)
Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1931, Kipniss studied at the Wittenberg College, Springfield, Ohio; The Arts Students League of New York, and the University of Iowa. He had his first New York one-man painting exhibition in 1951, but he would not produce his first print until years later. In 1967, the artist reluctantly enrolled in a six-week printmaking class at Pratt Graphics Center but soon warmed to the task, producing handsome etchings and drypoints. By the following year Kipniss had ventured into lithography, and quickly gained recognition for his accomplishments as a printmaker. For more than two decades Kipniss drew his images upon heavy lime stone matrices at the renowned George C. Miller and Son atelier in New York City, and printed them in collaboration with the gifted master printer, Burr Miller. Through this fruitful partnership, the artist realized more than 450 lithographs. By the early 1990s the artist had embraced the mezzotint, and since then has pulled editions for more than 140 prints.
(above: Robert Kipniss, Reflections, 1976, Color lithograph, 20 x 15 inches, signed Kipniss and 62/90)
Patience is truly a virtue with Kipniss's canvases and prints, in that the longer the onlooker lingers before one of his works the more it reveals -- just as its creator intended. By slowing one's ability to perceive the interactions of the various pictorial elements, the artist effectively controls one's sense of time. Thus, the observer "wanders" through a Kipniss landscape or interior, paced by the signposts of color, light, shape, and space. He experiences the painting or print vicariously, with a powerful sense of aloneness, through the artist's vantage point. The artist has eloquently stated that the "central impetus of my work is the endless range of feelings and thoughts evoked by the basic act of seeing, usually in isolation, and with a haunting intensity."
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