ROBERT KIPNISS: PAINTINGS

Untitled Big Branches9 January – 14 March, 2009

On 9 January 2009 ROBERT KIPNISS: PAINTINGS, an exhibition of recent paintings by artist Robert Kipniss, will open at ACME Fine Art, Boston. A reception from six to eight on Friday evening (the 9th) will mark the opening. Robert Kipniss will give a gallery talk on 5 Decades of Painting on Saturday, 10 January at 3 PM. The exhibition will run through 14 March.

There is a quiet beauty about Robert Kipniss’ paintings that makes his work accessible to many viewers; however, to see his work as merely beautifully rendered landscape and still life paintings is to overlook much of their content. A reviewer for Time magazine once eloquently described paintings by Robert Kipniss as existing in the “twilight zone between recollection and imagination….” The writer then went on to add that the work offers “the appearance of reality and the ambiance of dreams.” Certainly there is a dreamlike quality about Kipniss’ mature work that attracts the viewer’s eye through the immediate recognition of something vaguely familiar… almost like déjà vu. The elements of recognition, familiarity, and time – along with the artist’s thoughtful elimination of superfluous detail – give the work a timeless quality that is at once compelling and often haunting.

In fact, Kipniss does paint from memory and from his imagination. Many of his landscape paintings call upon visual recollections from his college years in Springfield, Ohio, from long walks in Central Park in the 1950s & ‘60s, and from more recent observations in the countryside of northwestern Connecticut where he currently spends time on weekends. All of his contemporary work is created north of New York City in a studio high above the Hudson River in which the windows have been blacked out as if to eliminate the distractions of the mundane world beyond his canvas. Artistic license notwithstanding, it seems clear that the nature of Kipniss’ recollection is more poetic than documentary, and that his carefully and elegantly composed tonal canvases rely more on his personal artistry than on precise memory.

The imagery in Kipniss’ paintings – the small town Main Street, the naked branches of a copse of trees in winter, or the tea kettle and cup, for example – carries with it associations that are distinctly different to each viewer: yet, these associations are meaningful to all of us on both on a conscious, and – most importantly – on a subconscious level. It is this connection between artist and viewer that makes Kipniss’ work at once so thematically universal and so psychologically charged. It is because the paintings are so rich with meaningful associations that connect to each our own personal histories, that they live a life beyond the quiet beauty that is immediately evident.

Although several early works will be included for the sake of providing context, ACME Fine Art’s first solo exhibition of paintings by Robert Kipniss will be principally comprised of work created since 2003. A number of paintings forming ACME Fine Art’s exhibition were a part of the artist’s 2005 retrospective exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art and are illustrated in the monograph that accompanied that exhibition. This occasion marks the first time that most have been exhibited since then, and the first time that they have been offered for sale. We are delighted and honored to represent Robert Kipniss, and we are deeply grateful to him for making this exhibition possible.

ACME Fine Art’s exhibition ROBERT KIPNISS: PAINTINGS will be featured here at www.acmefineart.com.

For further information about this exhibition or other gallery events, please contact the gallery at 617.585.9551, or via e-mail at info@acmefineart.com.