Artist/Designer: Robert Kipniss
b. 1931, Brooklyn, New York
Title: Four Houses 1991
: Image: 7.75" h x 7" Paper 12" x 10.75' Offered unframed. (Please contact us
for framing options.)
Details: Hand-signed Trial Proof bottom left side of image and Kipniss right side of image. Final edition of 75 with 10 artist proofs. Generally up to five trial proofs were pulled often on different papers for comparison. This example on cream rag paper.
Notes from the Archive: Robert Kipniss has his own approach to creating a mezzotint print. As described in the book, Robert Kipniss Intaglios 1982-2004, a copper plate is prepared usually by a mechanical rocker creating hundreds of evenly placed rough points in the surface of the metal. Next different kinds of steel burnishers are used to polish the rough copper surface. Polishing lessens the amount of ink the plate will retain and allows the artist to achieve a wide and subtle range of tonal effects, hence the name mezzotint, meaning middle tones. To get pure white in an area, the surface must be polished mirror smooth so that no ink will be held on the plate. As he produces light areas, the artist's forms emerge from the darkness. Untouched areas will print a velvety black that is a special characteristic of the mezzotint.
In Four Houses, it is the juxtaposition of the four buildings to each other in contrast with the soft organic shapes of the trees and leaves that create this compelling modern image. Here Kipniss explores the special unity of man and nature, the real and the imagined, and both the shadows and the substance. This print represents a deep and rich example of his expertise in the mezzotint process.
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