Rooftops, Lakeside Mezzotint
by Robert Kipniss


Artist/Designer: Robert Kipniss
b. 1931, Brooklyn, New York
Title: Rooftops, Lakeside 2002
Medium: Mezzotint
Dimensions: Image: 9.75" h x 6"w Frame 18.5"h x 14.25"w.
Details: Hand-signed 22/60 bottom left side of image and Kipniss right side of image. From Robert Kipniss Intaglios 1982-2004 Catalogue Raisonné, this work is catalog number G122. Printed on Rives woven paper from an edition of 60 with 10 artist proofs. Textured gold leaf frame with black edges with archival rag mat and plexiglass.
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.
Rooftops, Lakeside focuses on the interplay between overlapping, silhouetted organic forms against a canvas of manmade skyline. Kipniss explores the special unity of man and nature, the real and the imagined, and both the shadows and the substance. The nuanced dark tones in this image serve to both unify and stratify the composition, representing a deep and rich example of the artist's expertise in the mezzotint process. 
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