Robert Kipniss

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Robert Kipniss
Born (1931-02-01) February 1, 1931 (age 90)
Brooklyn, NY
EducationAttended Wittenberg College (now Wittenberg University), Springfield, Ohio (1948–49); and University of Iowa, Iowa City, (B.A., 1952, English literature; Master of Fine Arts, 1954)
Known forContemporary art: representational paintings, lithographs, mezzotints, and drypoints
Spouse(s)Laurie Lisle (1994–present)
Jean Prutton (1954–1982)

Robert Kipniss (born Brooklyn, New York, February 1, 1931) is an American painter and printmaker. His mature paintings, lithographs, mezzotints, and drypoints share stylistic characteristics and subject matter and typically depict trees seen close up or at varying distances in fields. Other works show one or more houses in a landscape or town setting. Some are interiors with a view toward a window or with a still life set close to one, frequently with a landscape beyond. No human figures are present, and all forms are reduced to essentials. The time is often dusk or nighttime. Kipniss' use of exceptionally subtle black and white tones or, less often, lightly toned hues creates an overall atmospheric effect.[1][2][3][4][5] His works have been described as conveying solitude and inward experience.[6] Kipniss often uses the subject matter of a painting in a lithograph or mezzotint, sometimes with variations. His paintings date from the early 1950s. His main body of prints are lithographs and mezzotints, the former dating from 1968 into 1990, the latter since 1990.[1][2][3][4][5]

Since 1998 Kipniss has lived and maintained a studio on the Hudson River in Westchester County, New York. That year he also set up a print studio at his weekend home in northwestern Connecticut. He married his second wife, Laurie Lisle, a writer, in 1994. He has four children, Max, Ivan, Ruby, and Benjamin, from his first marriage, in 1954, to Jean Prutton. They were divorced in 1982.[7]

Early life and education[edit]

Robert Kipniss was born in 1931 in Brooklyn, New York, to Simeon and Stella Kipniss, both of whom worked in Manhattan. His father, a Sunday painter, was employed for thirty-five years by Sears, Roebuck and Company as a layout director designing catalogue pages. Kipniss's mother, née Schwartz, drew fashion illustrations for many years for newspaper advertisements run by Gimbel's and other department stores. Kipniss's only sibling, a sister, Betty Ann, was born in 1936. The family moved to Laurelton, Long Island, that year and to Forest Hills, Queens, New York, in 1941. At age sixteen, Kipniss attended New York's Arts Students League on Saturdays. He began college in 1948, attending Wittenberg College in Springfield, Ohio, for two years before transferring to the University of Iowa, Iowa City, in 1950. He began writing poetry in 1948. After graduating with a B.A. degree in English literature in 1952, Kipniss stayed at the university and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1954. By then he regarded himself primarily as a painter although he continued to write poetry.[7]

In 1951 Kipniss was awarded a one-man show at the Creative Gallery, on 57th Street in Manhattan, as the result of a painting competition and showed semi-abstractions "suggesting romantic images of ethereal landscapes and half-grasped moments."[8] In 1953 the Harry Salpeter Gallery, also on 57th Street, gave him his second one-man show.[9]

In 1954 Kipniss and his wife, Jean, moved to Manhattan, and he continued to paint. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1956 and assigned to the Instructional Aids Division of the Quartermaster Corps at Fort Lee, Virginia, where his drawing skills were put to use in making training aids. Discharged in 1958, Kipniss returned with his wife to Manhattan. That year he received representation at the Contemporaries, a Manhattan gallery, and showed there in 1959 and 1960. He continued what had become a routine, painting by day and working at the Manhattan General Post Office during the evenings; by 1964, he was able to earn his living creating paintings.[10]

Since 1965 Kipniss has had more than twenty-two museum and other institutional one-man exhibitions across the United States and abroad. His first institutional one-man exhibition was in 1965 at the Allen R. Hite Institute of the University of Louisville in Kentucky.[11] The most recent of his several retrospectives, a five-decade print retrospective comprising eighty-six lithographs, mezzotints, and drypoints from the James F. White Collection, was shown at the New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, Louisiana, in 2006 at the time of a celebratory reopening of the museum six months after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.[12] In 1980 a large solo show of paintings and prints took place at La Tertulia Museum in Cali, Colombia.

Kipniss's work is held by more than eighty-eight museums and other institutions.[13] In 1982, John Caldwell of the New York Times noted that Kipniss "is represented in many of the most important museums in this country, and his record of one-man shows, which began in 1959 [sic, 1951] has of late turned into a veritable torrent of exhibitions."[14] In the United States, he has shown his work and been represented at: Weinstein Gallery, San Francisco (1999–2014); Gerhard Wurzer Gallery, Houston, Texas (1981–2004); and Harmon-Meek Gallery, Naples, Florida (1976 through the present). In Manhattan, his work has appeared at and he has been represented by the Old Print Shop (1980s through the present); Beadleston Gallery (2000–2003); Hirschl & Adler Galleries (1976–81); FAR Gallery (1964–74); and the Contemporaries (1959–63). In London, he has shown at and been represented by the Redfern Gallery (1996 to the present).[15] For further information on collections in which Kipniss is represented and exhibitions in museums, other institutions, and galleries, see the accompanying lists.


In his 1982 New York Times review, cited above, Caldwell also observed that "the question of artistic influences is unusually complicated in the case of Mr. Kipniss" and that "the sense that one gets in all of [his] work is of a genuinely individual sensibility."[16] Several writers on art have mentioned the work of Romantic landscape painter Caspar David Friedrich, Hudson River School painters such as George Inness, and the Barbizon School painters, including Camille Corot, as having qualities similar to Kipniss's or as possible sources of inspiration for him.[17]

Kipniss himself has indicated various locations as important sources of inspiration, especially on his scenes with houses. The locations include the streets and neighborhoods of Springfield, Ohio, which he sometimes sketched during his first two college years and revisited in 1979, taking photographs and sketching alleys and streets at twilight. He returned over the next twenty years to continue sketching. In 1999 Kipniss described how this location influenced his artistic development: "‘The elements that remain a large part of my imagery all my working life began to emerge in these sketches: mysterious windowless houses, backyard fences, trees leafless in the off-season. . . . My work remains unpopulated because I can then become as if the lone inhabitant, and when the work leaves my hands, who stands before it becomes for a moment me, alone, there.’"[18]

Other locations that inspired Kipniss were alleys in Columbus, Ohio, which he sketched in 1958.[19] In 1989 he briefly visited Elsah, Illinois, a small town on the Missouri River (since 1974 on the National Register of Historic Places) where the narrow streets and many limestone houses made an impression on him. He returned the next year to do sketches that became the basis of works in other mediums.[20] In 1993 the woods and fields of northwestern Connecticut provided inspiration for paintings and mezzotints.[20]



Large Trees at Dusk (1962), oil on canvas, 36" x 40", Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Kipniss's early work consisted of abstractions, biomorphic forms, landscapes, cityscapes, still lifes, and figures.[21] The majority of these works were landscapes of subdued color, often with few details, and loosely brushed. Large Trees at Dusk (1962) was one of several paintings and drawings in 1961 and 1962 which introduced a boldness of form and a more pronounced moodiness.[22]

The paintings and prints that followed, executed either in black and white or in color, include numerous variations in the shape, size, and placement of trees. Large Trees at Dusk exhibits the beginning of Kipniss's purification of tree forms, his use of closely related hues in a subdued or dark range, and the sense of solitude characteristic of his mature output. Of the paintings and prints since 1962, hundreds show the interplay of tree trunks, focusing on close or more distance views.[23]

In the review of a solo painting show in Manhattan in 1966, a Time magazine critic wrote: "In the twilight zone between recollection and imagination, a New York painter has found a vista of mind and mood that he calls ‘the Inner Landscape.’ With hushed tones, feathered brushing and eerie chiaroscuro, he invests his scenes with the appearance of reality and the ambiance of dream."[24]

Splash III (2003)[25] is an example of Kipniss's paintings of trees extending into grassy landscapes. Many paintings of this type, which occasionally have one or more generic houses, display his use of closely related tones, a strong accent on the purity of form, refined silhouetting, and pronounced luminosity.[26] Kipniss composes his forms and spaces separately, working on each alternately after the paint has dried. He brushes between them and recomposes each area more than once, sometimes with five or six passes in order to get "the varied parts of the image to mesh together."[27]


From 1968 into 1990, Kipniss created lithographs that followed the style and content of his paintings, whether generally or specifically.[28] A commission from a print publisher in 1968 for five editions of lithographs precipitated his adoption of lithography as a medium.[29]

Kipniss's first lithographs were done in black and white, but by 1970 he was also working in color.[30] He taught himself "to lay in the most delicately light silvery tones on the surface of the limestone by maintaining an exceptionally sharp point on the lithographic pencil and drawing with no pressure other than the weight of the pencil itself." He built up a support so that his hand and wrist could "dangle" over the stone.[31] By 1990 Kipniss had completed about 450 editions of lithographs, usually of 90 to 250 impressions, at the Burr Miller studio in Manhattan. He worked from 1969 with master printer Burr Miller and then with Steve and Terry, his sons.[32]

In 1980 Kipniss began to draw on aluminum to make all of his lithographs, and by 1986 he was achieving an increased subtlety in the use of color with a light palette including "greens, blues, pinks, browns, and grays," as a critic noted that year. He added: "Kipniss enhances the remarkable purity and elegance of line in these lithographs by his restrained use of color. The delicate hues of his prints are of such extraordinary subtlety that it is only on careful examination that the viewer can recognize how complex they are, requiring as many as eight different plates to produce a single print."[33] In 1990 Kipniss's concern with densely drawn fine tones led to increased difficulties in printing, and he gave up the medium.[34]

Kipniss used six plates, with black, red, yellow, blue, green, or orange, for successive applications of color in the lithograph Through Bedroom Curtains (1983),[35] a scene also depicted in a 1981 painting.[36] He had begun painting interiors in his early work of the 1950s, and they appear about equally in his mature paintings and lithographs, and less so in his mezzotints.[1][2][3][4][5]

As in Through Bedroom Curtains, he usually included a window with a view of one or more trees and one or more generalized houses and frequently also depicted one or two house plants in the interior.[37][38]


Tall Trees at Night (2001), mezzotint, ed. of 60; artist's proofs 10, 19 58" x 1312"

Kipniss stopped making lithographs in 1990 and began to create mezzotints. He had his first solo mezzotint show in New York in 1992. He also showed mezzotints in 1995 at his first solo print show in England, and that year they comprised his first show of prints in Germany.[39] Tall Trees at Night (2001) is in five museum collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, and the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, both in London.[40]

When a copper plate is roughened in preparation for working on it, thousands of tiny holes are produced on the surface of the plate to hold the ink. Kipniss's preference has been for mechanically roughened plates because of their greater uniformity. Unlike many makers of mezzotints, he prefers using a burnisher rather than a scraper for reducing the depth of the holes, a process that controls the amount of ink held on the plate. The burnisher allows him freer motion and a greater range of pressure, as a pencil would, giving him the ability to create an image that looks drawn rather than machine crafted. Over time, Kipniss sought "narrower ranges of middle tones" while still bringing out the richness and resonance of darks characteristic of mezzotints.[41] He has worked with master printer Anthony Kirk from 1990 to the present, first when Kirk was associated with the Connecticut Center for Printmaking in Norwalk, Connecticut, and then at Kirk's own studio in North Salem, New York.[42]

Tall Trees at Night is one of Kipniss's many mezzotints that view trees fairly close up at dusk or night and show a play of light upon them. The characteristics that became increasingly prominent in his mature work, his concern with capturing the essence of form and with even more subtle light effects, are clearly apparent. The trees in Kipniss's mezzotints have an especially strong purity of form when only their trunks are depicted. Sometimes leaves are spread across the trees, adding more movement and increasing the technical challenge.[43]

Window w/vase & forest (2000)[44] is representative of still lifes that show a vase of plant cuttings, most often of stems with leaves. The vase is generally viewed close up before a window on a surface that may or may not be visible. Occasionally the bottom part of the sash is showing, and usually trees are beyond. Here, part of the view into the distance is through three layers of glass, and the form to the left is part of a chest of drawers.[45] A painting done in reverse predates this print, and in both Kipniss extemporized the pale, delicate scrim of trees.[46] The print is in four major museum collections, among them the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California Palace of the Legion of Honor.[47]


Kipniss's first print and only etching was made in 1967. That year he began producing drypoints, which he has made periodically since, although in smaller numbers than his works in other mediums.[48] "Almost all of his drypoints have the large areas of white typical of that medium, creating much more of an effect of outdoor light than his mezzotints."[49] Springfield, O.[50] shows the typical velvety black lines of the drypoint, caused when ink adheres to the raised burr next to the furrow, but Kipniss's lines are placed more tightly than is usual in drypoints.[51] The work is in three institutional collections, including the British Museum, London.[52]

Writings and illustrations[edit]


Thirty-eight of Kipniss's poems were featured in Robert Kipniss Paintings and Poetry 1950–1964 (2013). The book compares the mood and content of his poetry with his transitional and early mature paintings and prints.[53]

Kipniss's memoir, Robert Kipniss: A Working Artist's Life (University Press of New England, 2011, 259 pages), describes his artistic techniques and aspects of his career and personal life.[54]


Kipniss has illustrated two volumes of poetry. For Poems of Rainer Marie Rilke (1981), he created ten black and white lithographs which were reproduced in an edition of two thousand books. Ten originals in color editions of 150 that were placed in portfolio boxes as individual sheets opposite each of ten poems were published separately.[55] Comparing the lithographs with the poems, American poet Robin Magowan has written: "Both Kipniss and Rilke are exponents of inwardness, creating meditative enigmas to which we can keep returning without piercing their mysteries. The works share a silence that carries something of an ascetic, a purging of excess and an attendant appreciation of a restraint that goes far beyond mere poetic concision. Giving in to the spell cast by this highly wrought silence, we find ourselves waking to realities normally hidden—even to what might be called the unknown, the abiding mystery of existence."[56]

Kipniss also illustrated Poems by Emily Dickinson (1964) with twenty-six drawings.[57] A New York Times book review called them "superb."[58]

Honors and awards[edit]

Honorary doctorates[edit]

Illinois College, Jacksonville, IL, 1989

Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH, 1979

Elected to[edit]

Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, London, England, 1998

National Academy of Design, New York, NY, 1980, full membership

Lifetime achievement awards[edit]

The Benjamin West Clinedinst Memorial Medal for lifetime achievement in art, given by The Artists’ Fellowship, Inc., New York, NY, 2010

Society of American Graphic Artists, New York, NY, 2007

Selected Museum and Other Institutional Collections holding paintings and/or prints[edit]

The material in the following list is collected from major sources on Robert Kipniss cited in the footnotes, as well as from catalogues, brochures, and press releases through April 2016.

Holdings of five or more prints are indicated by an asterisk (*).

  • Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California Palace of the Legion of Honor*
  • Albertina Museum, Vienna, Austria*
  • Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
  • Arkansas State University Permanent Collection, State University, AR
  • Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Art Museum of Western Virginia, Roanoke, VA
  • Art Students League of New York, New York, NY
  • Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston, ME
  • Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA
  • Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris*
  • Boston Athenæum, Boston, MA
  • Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME*
  • British Museum, London, England*
  • Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY*
  • Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH
  • Canton Art Institute, Canton, OH
  • Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Century Association, New York, NY
  • Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH*
  • Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH
  • Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay, OR*
  • Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Winter Park, FL*
  • Cornell University, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, NY
  • De Cordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA
  • Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
  • Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI*
  • Dubuque Museum of Art, Dubuque, IA
  • Elvehjem Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI
  • Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY*
  • Federal Reserve Board Fine Arts Program, Washington, DC*
  • Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England
  • Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, MI*
  • Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, IN
  • Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, SC
  • Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, MA
  • Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, NY*
  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Davis Gallery, Geneva, NY*
  • Hofstra University Museum, Hempstead, NY*
  • Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, TN
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN
  • Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences, Peoria, IL
  • Library of Congress, Washington, DC
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
  • Maier Museum of Art, Randolph College, Lynchburg, VA*
  • McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX*
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY*
  • Minnesota Museum of American Art, Saint Paul, MN
  • Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC
  • Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS*
  • Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ*
  • Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY
  • Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Utica, NY
  • Museo La Tertulia [formerly Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia], Cali, Colombia
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
  • National Academy Museum [formerly National Academy of Design], New York, NY
  • Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO
  • New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT*
  • New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA*
  • New York Public Library, Print Collection, New York, NY
  • Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, FL*
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
  • Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
  • Rhode Island School of Design, Museum of Art, Providence, RI
  • Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, London; housed at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, England
  • Rutgers, State University of New Jersey, Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick, NJ
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum (formerly National Museum of American Art), Washington, DC*
  • Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, Loretto, PA
  • Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, MO
  • Springfield Museum of Art, Springfield, OH*
  • St. Lawrence University, Richard F. Brush Art Gallery, Canton, NY*
  • Staatliche Graphische Sammlungn München, located in the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany*
  • Stanford University, Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, Stanford, CA*
  • Syracuse University Art Galleries, Syracuse, NY*
  • Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA
  • University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, IA*
  • University of Minnesota, Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN
  • University of Richmond Museums, Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art, Richmond, VA*
  • University of Rochester, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY*
  • University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Lawton Gallery, Green Bay, WI*
  • Vassar College, Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Poughkeepsie, NY
  • Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England*
  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA*
  • Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY*
  • Wichita Falls Museum and Art Center, Wichita Falls, TX
  • Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA*
  • Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH
  • Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT*


Robert Kipniss: Light and Shadow exhibition in Wichita Falls, Texas

The material in each of the following lists is collected from major sources on Robert Kipniss cited in the footnotes, as well as from catalogues, brochures, and press releases since April 2016.

Selected Solo Museum or Other Institutional Exhibitions[edit]

Syracuse University Art Galleries Syracuse, NY 2016
Syracuse University Lubin House, Louise and Bernard Palitz Gallery New York, NY 2015
Wichita Falls Museum of Art Wichita Falls, TX 2015
Springfield Art Museum Springfield, MO 2010, 2003
Mississippi Museum of Art Jackson, MS 2008
McNay Art Museum San Antonio, TX 2007
New Orleans Museum of Art New Orleans, LA 2006
Orlando Museum of Art Orlando, FL 2006
University of Richmond Museums, Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art Richmond, VA 2006
Butler Institute of American Art Youngstown, OH 1999
Tyler Museum of Art Tyler, TX 1999
Wichita Falls Museum and Art Center Wichita, TX 1997
Illinois College Jacksonville, IL 1989
Springfield Museum of Art Springfield, OH 1985, 1983
Bruce Museum of Arts and Science Greenwich, CT 1981
Museo La Tertulia [formerly Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia] Cali, Colombia 1980, 1975
Canton Art Institute Canton, OH 1979
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Kalamazoo, MI 1975
University of Louisville, Allen R. Hite Institute Louisville, KT 1965

Selected Solo Gallery Exhibitions[edit]

Harmon-Meek Gallery Naples, FL 2015, 2008, 2006, 2002
Old Print Shop New York, NY 2014, 2010, 2007, 2004
Weinstein Gallery San Francisco, CA 2013, 2011, 2009, 2007, 2004, 2002, 2001, 2000
Franklin Riehlman Gallery New York, NY 2012
Acme Fine Art Boston, MA 2009
Beadleston Gallery New York, NY 2003, 2001
Bassenge Gallery Berlin, Germany 1999
Gerhard Wurzer Gallery Houston, TX 1999, 1997, 1988, 1986, 1981
Molesey Gallery East Molesey, Surrey, England 1999, 1995
Redfern Gallery, London, England 1999, 1995
Davidson Gallery Seattle, WA 1999, 1993, 1983, 1982
Gallery New World Düsseldorf, Germany 1998, 1995
Jane Haslem Gallery Washington, DC 1998, 1976
Hexton Gallery New York, NY 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994
Venable/Neslage Gallery Washington, DC 1997, 1995
The Century Association New York, NY 1996
Taunhaus Gallery Osaka and Kanazawa, Japan 1994
Theodore B. Donson Gallery New York, NY 1992
OK Harris Works of Art New York, NY 1991
Enatsu Gallery Tokyo, Japan 1990, 1988, 1987
Haller-Griffin Gallery Washington Depot, CT 1985
Jamie Szoke Gallery New York, NY 1985
Institute of Contemporary Arts Nagoya, Japan 1984
Nancy Teague Gallery Seattle, WA 1983, 1982
Payson/Weisberg Gallery New York, NY 1983, 1981
Gage Gallery Washington, DC 1981
Hirschl & Adler Galleries New York, NY 1980, 1977
Associated American Artists (AAA) New York, NY 1977
Galeria de Arte Lima, Peru 1977
G. W. Einstein Gallery New York, NY 1977, 1976
Galeria San Diego Bogota, Colombia 1977, 1975
"9" Galeria de Arte Lima, Peru 1976
Centro de Arte Actual Pereira, Colombia 1975
Xochipili Gallery Rochester, MI 1975
FAR Gallery New York, NY 1975, 1972, 1970, 1968
The Contemporaries New York, NY 1967, 1966, 1960, 1959
Alan Auslander Gallery New York, NY 1963
Harry Salpeter Gallery New York, NY 1953
Creative Gallery New York, NY 1951

Selected Group Exhibitions in Museums and Other Institutions[edit]

Figge Art Museum Davenport, IA 2015
Fort Wayne Museum of Art Fort Wayne, IN 2015
Heckscher Museum of Art Huntington, NY 2015, 2013
Hofstra University Museum Hempstead, NY 2015, 2013, 2012
The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art Laurel, MS 2015
University of Richmond, Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art Richmond, VA 2015, 2010
Cornell Fine Arts Museum Winter Park, FL 2014 (2 shows)
Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, NY 2013–2014, 2010
New Britain Museum of American Art New Britain, CT 2011, 2006
Mississippi Museum of Art Jackson, MS 2009 (2 shows)
Syracuse University, SUArt Gallery Syracuse, NY 2009
Syracuse University, Palitz Gallery, part of the SUArt Gallery New York, NY 2009
Arkansas Arts Center Little Rock, AR 2008
Naples Museum of Art Naples, FL 2008, 2007
Art Students League of New York Traveling Exhibition: New York, NY 2006–2008
Owensboro Museum of Art Owensboro, KT
Cape Museum of Fine Arts Dennis, MA
Brunnier Art Museum Ames, IA
Southern Vermont Art Center Manchester, VT
Hillstrom Museum of Art St. Peter, MN
Lowe Art Museum Coral Gables, FL
Pensacola Museum of Art Pensacola, FL
Fort Wayne Museum of Art Fort Wayne, IN
Long Island Museums of American Art Stony Brook, NY
University of Richmond Museums, Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art Richmond, VA 2006
Rutgers University, State of New Jersey, Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum New Brunswick, NJ 2005
Berkshire Museum Pittsfield, MA 2005
Orlando Museum of Art Orlando, FL 2003
Everson Museum of Art Syracuse, NY 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997
Art Museum of Western Virginia Roanoke, VA 2002
Tacoma Art Museum Tacoma, WA 2002
Royal Academy London, England 2001
New Orleans Museum of Art New Orleans, LA 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996
British Museum London, England 2000
Ashmolean Museum, works from
the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers
Oxford, England


National Academy Museum [formerly the National Academy Museum] New York, NY 1999
University of Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, England 1999
American Academy of Arts and Letters New York, NY 1988
Museo La Tertulia [formerly Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia] Cali, Colombia 1978, 1976
Kalamazoo Art Institute Kalamazoo, MI 1975
Westmoreland Museum Pittsburgh, PA 1974, 1973, 1972
New York Public Library New York, NY 1972
Whitney Museum of American Art New York, NY 1972
American Federation of Arts Traveling Exhibition: 1963–65
Vanderbilt Gallery Nashville, TN
Cornell University, Andrew Dickson White Museum Ithaca, NY
Davenport Municipal Art Gallery Davenport, IA
Utah Museum of Fine Arts Salt Lake City, UT
University of Manitoba Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
West Virginia University Morgantown, WV
Cranbrook Academy of Art Bloomfield Hills, MI
Paul Sargent Gallery Charleston, IL
Herron Museum of Art Indianapolis, ID 1964
Tweed Gallery, University of Minnesota Duluth, MN 1962
Columbus Museum of Art Columbus, OH 1957
Massillon Museum Massillon, OH 1957
Butler Art Institute Youngstown, OH 1953

Selected Group Exhibitions in Galleries[edit]

The Forbes Galleries New York, NY 2004
USB PaineWebber Art Gallery New York, NY 2002
Tahir Gallery New Orleans, LA 1981
International Exhibition of Original Drawings Rijeka-Dolac, Yugoslavia 1976
Graham Gallery New York, NY 1964
Osborne Gallery New York, NY 1963
Nordness Gallery New York, NY 1961
Sheldon Swope Gallery Terre Haute, ID 1961


  1. ^ a b c Robert Kipniss:Paintings and Poetry 1950–1964; Preface, "Comments by the Artist and Poet" by Robert Kipniss; Introduction, "Ut Pictura Poesis: The Coming of Age of Robert Kipniss," by Marshall N. Price; "Remembrance and Prophecy: The Journey of a Poet-Painter" by Robin Magowan (New York: The Artist Book Foundation, 2013).
  2. ^ a b c Robert Kipniss: Paintings 1950–2005; Foreword by E. John Bullard; "Solitude and Silence: The Paintings of Robert Kipniss" by Richard J. Boyle; "Notes from the Studio" by Robert Kipniss (New York and Manchester: Hudson Hills Press, 2007).
  3. ^ a b c Daniel Piersol, Seen in Solitude: Robert Kipniss Prints from the James F. White Collection; "Collector's Statement" by James F. White; "Seen in Solitude: Prints by Robert Kipniss" by Daniel Piersol; "Soliloquy: Kipniss on Kipniss" by Robert Kipniss (New Orleans, Louisiana: New Orleans Museum of Art, 2005).
  4. ^ a b c Robert Kipniss: Intaglios 1982–2004, Catalogue Raisonné; Introduction and Documentation by Trudie A. Grace; "Robert Kipniss: In-Between" by Thomas Piché Jr.; Chronology (New York and Manchester: Hudson Hills Press, 2004).
  5. ^ a b c Robert Kipniss: The Graphic Work; Preface by Karl Lunde (New York: Abaris Books, 1980).
  6. ^ "Art in New York," Time 87, no. 5 (4 February 1966). Lunde, in Graphic Work, on "individual in isolation," 15. Bullard, Foreword, in Paintings, on "meditative silence" in Kipniss's paintings and prints, x.
  7. ^ a b Chronology, in Intaglios, passim.
  8. ^ Chronology, in Intaglios, passim, 168. D. A. [Dore Ashton], Art Digest, 26, no.1 (1 October 1951).
  9. ^ Chronology, in Intaglios, 169.
  10. ^ Chronology, in Intaglios, 169–71.
  11. ^ For chronologies on Kipniss's major museum and other institutional exhibitions, see the accompanying lists and Intaglios, 179–83; Piersol, 103–06; Paintings, 144–48.
  12. ^ open-with-a-salute-to-the-arts-55233227.html. Bullard, Foreword, in Paintings, ix–x.
  13. ^ See the list of collections holding Kipniss's works accompanying this article and Intalgios, 179–81; Piersol, 101–102; Paintings, 142–44.
  14. ^ John Caldwell, "Kipniss Lends Vision to Realist School," New York Times, 10 Oct. 1982, 28. See also the lists of exhibitions.
  15. ^ See the lists of gallery representations and exhibitions accompanying this article.
  16. ^ Caldwell.
  17. ^ Piersol, on Asher B. Durand, 10, and on a kinship with George Inness and Mark Tobey, 12–13. Boyle, "Solitude and Silence," in Paintings, on a kinship with Casper David Friedrich, Tonalism, and Giorgio Morandi, 10–11.
  18. ^ Boyle, "Solitude and Silence," in Paintings, 2, quoting Kipniss from the exhibition brochure, Harmon-Meek Gallery, 1999, n.p. For works depicting Springfield, Ohio, from other views and in other mediums, see Paintings, passim; Piersol, passim; Intaglios, passim; Kipniss, Artist's Life, pl. 22.
  19. ^ Robert Kipniss, Robert Kipniss: A Working Artist's Life (Lebanon, New Hampshire: University Press of New England, 2011), 125.
  20. ^ a b Chronology, in Intaglios, 175.
  21. ^ Boyle, "Solitude and Silence," in Paintings, 5. Kipniss, "Comments by the Artist and Poet," in Paintings and Poetry, 8.
  22. ^ Boyle, "Solitude and Silence," in Paintings, 7–8, 13. Paintings and Poetry, images 56–58 and Price, "Ut Pictura Poesis," 16: "Kipniss made a breakthrough with a series of large drawings that were less restrained and more aggressively rendered than any of his previous work."
  23. ^ See the books cited in footnotes 1–5 for mature paintings and prints that follow Kipniss's seminal works.
  24. ^ "Art in New York," Time.
  25. ^ Splash III (2003), oil on canvas, 28" x 22", Harmon-Meek Gallery, Naples, Florida
  26. ^ See the images reproduced in the books cited in footnotes 1–5.
  27. ^ Kipniss, Artist's Life, 166–67.
  28. ^ Lunde, Preface, in Graphic Work, on lithographs following drawings and paintings, 11.
  29. ^ Kipniss, Artist's Life, 176.
  30. ^ For working in color in lithographs, Lunde, Preface, in Graphic Work, 10–13. Kipniss, Artist's Life, 190. Piersol, 6.
  31. ^ Lunde, Preface, in Graphic Work, for Kipniss's lithographic technique, 11–13. Kipniss, Artist's Life, on technique when doing lithographs, 205. For a detailed discussion of the making of his lithographs, see Robert Kipniss, "Recollections: Printmaking Experiences," Printmaking Today, 5, no. 1, 1996, 8–10.
  32. ^ Chronology, in Intaglios, 172. Piersol, 5–6, and Kipniss, "Soliloquy," 22–23. Kipniss, Artist's Life, 177–78.
  33. ^ Dennis Weyman, "The inner eye of Robert Kipniss," Artspeak (1 November 1986), 11.
  34. ^ Chronology, in Intaglios, 175. Piersol, 6.
  35. ^ Through Bedroom Curtains (1983), color lithograph, 13/120, 20" x 18", James F. White Collection.
  36. ^ The oil on canvas version of this subject (1981) is in Paintings, pl. 16, 40" x 36", Collection of Janet Lippmann. Piersol, 8, on the range of hues in Kipniss's lithographs of the 1970s and 1980s and how they "brought a new sensuousness and richness to his prints" while "At same time, his compositions—especially the interiors—grew in complexity, sophistication and scale."
  37. ^ Piersol, refers to "the strong diagonal of the phallic tree in Through Bedroom Curtains, 8.
  38. ^ Piersol, on subtle eroticism in this work, 8.
  39. ^ See the lists accompanying this article.
  40. ^ Intaglios, for the museums holding Tall Trees at Night, 163. The list includes the print collection of the New York Public Library.
  41. ^ Kipniss, Artist's Life, on narrower range, 234. Grace, Introduction, in Intaglios, for Kipniss's mezzotint technique, 1–2.
  42. ^ Piersol, 11.
  43. ^ Grace, Introduction, in Intaglios, 3–4. Piersol, 14–15.
  44. ^ Window w/vase & forest (2000), mezzotint, ed. of 60, 10 58" x 19 38".
  45. ^ Piersol, 14–15, on still lifes and a description of Window w/vase & forest: "Kipniss places huge, sinuous leaves on diagonal branches. Illuminated from behind, their botanical shapes stand in bold contrast to the dark rectangular elements of the interiors." Intaglios, for plates showing interiors with a vase, passim. Lunde, Preface, in Graphic Work, on the content of interiors, 8–9.
  46. ^ Intaglios, for further information on the painting Interior w/leaves (1999), oil on panel, 24" x 24", private collection, pl. G101-ptg and 161.
  47. ^ Intaglios, for museum collections holding Window w/vase & forest, 161. This work is also in the collection of the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, Stanford, California.
  48. ^ Chronology, in Intaglios, on when Kipniss began drypoints, 172. Grace, Introduction, on smaller numbers of drypoints, 4–5. Kipniss, Artist's Life, on his drypoints, 175–76.
  49. ^ Grace, Introduction, in Intaglios, 5.
  50. ^ Springfield, O. (1992), drypoint (using two plates), ed. of 60, artist's proofs 10, 12 34" x 10 78" (fifth and final state).
  51. ^ Kipniss, Artist's Life, on drypoint technique, 191. For works depicting Springfield, Ohio, in other views and in other mediums, see Paintings, passim; Piersol, passim; Intaglios, passim; Kipniss, Artist's Life, pl. 22.
  52. ^ Intaglios, 153. The work is also in the collections of the New York Public Library Print Collection and the Wichita Falls Museum and Art Center, Wichita Falls, Texas.
  53. ^ Price, "Ut Pictura Poesis," on the relationship between Kipniss's poetry and artwork, 11; and Kipniss, "Comments by the Artist and Poet," on his poems never having been published in their own right, 7, in Paintings and Poetry.
  54. ^ Kipniss, Artist's Life, passim.
  55. ^ Rainer Maria Rilke, Selected Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke, with English translations by C. F. MacIntrye, Preface by Harry T. Moore, and lithographs by Robert Kipniss (New York: Limited Editions Club, 1981).
  56. ^ Magowan, "Remembrance and Prophecy," in Paintings and Poetry, 87. Boyle, "Solitude and Silence," in Paintings, for the kinship of Kipniss's paintings and the poetry of Rilke, 1.
  57. ^ Emily Dickinson, Poems of Emily Dickinson, selected by Helen Plotz, drawings by Robert Kipniss (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1964).
  58. ^ Paul Engle, "The Ever-Echoing Avenues of Song," New York Times, 10 May 1964, Book Review section.

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