Artist/ Designer: Robert Kipniss
b. 1931, Brooklyn, NY
Title: Window with Lamp 1991
: 7.75" x 7", paper size 12" x 10.5" Offered unframed. (Please contact us
for framing options.)
Details: Edition of 75 prints, 10 artist proofs, 2 printers proofs, two workshop proofs and five trial proofs. This image comes from the artist and is marked trial proof in pencil and signed Kipniss. Robert Kipniss is an American painter and master printmaker, with works included in the permanent collections of hundreds of museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
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. Kipniss' own technique includes drawing lightly with pencil to get the basic shapes, then touching the lines with his curved burnisher, he delineates the composition. This allows him to achieve characteristics similar to drawing - one of his main reasons for favoring the mezzotint.
Also in our collection, is the drawing for this image as Kipniss often draws and paints his subject before beginning a mezzotint. It's interesting to note that the drawing is smaller, and in the mezzotint process the image is "drawn" on the plate in the same orientation of the original drawing, but in the printing process it prints in reverse on the paper. (Photo of drawing included here for reference.)
Here in this formal composition, we see the distillation of forms that almost verge on the abstract. The velvety texture of the mezzotint draws you into the artist's world, and at the same time evokes your own personal memories and recollections. This is an extraordinary intaglio print evocative of intense contemplation and rendered with extreme technical expertise.
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