Robert Kipniss is an iconic figure in the American art world. His is an incredible success story that is as tough as it is romantic. His strength and self determination visible at every turn in personal history, is evidenced as well in his perseverance of the mastery of his craft. Aside from being a celebrated painter, Kipniss has become master of the mezzotint.
Robert Kipniss started showing in New York City in 1951. Perhaps one of the largest turning points in his career was in 1963 when he met Muriel Werner. Werner was a private dealer who sold forty of Kipniss’s paintings in a year’s time- allowing Kipniss the opportunity to paint full time and support his family through his work. By the late 1960’s Robert Kipniss was on his way up the rarely climbed ladder of the New York art world, with one-man shows at The Contemporaries, and The Far Gallery in Manhattan. His career has now totaled more than 200 one-man shows.
Kipniss’s style is instantly recognizable. As observed by Thomas Piche Jr., “a Kipniss tree often seems to bear witness, to be standing watch.” That Kipniss imbues his prints with a spirit that wants to communicate with the viewer in undeniable. “Kipniss’s landscape views and interiors are never directly populated. We understand that someone arranged those flowers in that vase, or that families inhabit the snug houses clustered on narrow alleys and darkened yards, but actual human presence is never documented. This absence is part of what provides Kipniss’s work its haunting tenor.”
Robert Kipniss’s work is in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the British Museum, the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, and the Pinakothek Moderne in Munich among others. He was elected to the national Academy of Design in 1980, and to the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, London, in 1998. He divides his time between New York and Connecticut.