icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle


Artist Statement

One thing I have most wonderfully learned is that the greatest reward for making art is making art. Instinctively I knew that painting and exhibiting were the only essentials I needed, and whatever difficulties I encountered along my path, there was always the reassurance of working and learning. I was working and showing right from the start, and it never occurred to me to wonder if I would be successful or not. In the beginning, it was very challenging, mostly because there was no sure way to do it, no rules, no guideposts. For about ten years my painting was lyrical, energetic, filled with bright color, and charged with exuberance. At the same time, the poetry I was writing was dark, angry, and often painful to create. When I stopped writing in the early 1960s, my paintings took on the characteristics of my poetry and became infused with anger, a dark monochromatic palette, gravitas, and occasionally slightly surreal themes. It was only after a few years when my lyricism began to re-surface and meld with the darkness. This was the beginning of my mature style...my life as an artist continues to be a passionate adventure. Every day I learn more about the constellations of feelings and thoughts I derive from the simple act of seeing. The life of an artist is about the art. I have lived my life as I dreamed of doing when I was a young man.


1931 Born in Brooklyn, New York

1947 Begins classes at the Art Students League of New York

1948 Attends Wittenberg College (now University), in Springfield, Ohio, and starts writing poetry

1950 Transfers to the University of Iowa to major in literature, also takes painting classes

1951 First solo show, Creative Gallery, 57th Street, New York City

1952 Graduates from the University of Iowa and accepted into its Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program

1953 Second solo show, Harry Salpeter Gallery, 57th Street, New York City

1954 Earns MFA from University of Iowa; marries first wife Jean Prutton

1956 Serves in U.S. Army, stationed at Fort Lee in Petersburg, Virginia

1958 Represented by The Contemporaries, 992 Madison Avenue, New York City

1959 Moves to 97th Street near Fifth Avenue and Central Park

1964 Ceases writing poetry to focus on painting; represented by FAR Gallery, New York City

1965 First solo museum exhibition, Allen R. Hite Institute, University of Louisville, Kentucky

1966 Moves to Boerum Hill, Brooklyn

1967 Begins printmaking at Pratt Center for Graphics, first works are intaglios

1968 Develops affinity for lithography; prints at the Bank Street Atelier, then George C. Miller and Son

1970 Purchases a home in Great Neck, New York; first editions commission published by Associated American Artists (AAA)

1972 Represented by Merrill Chase Galleries, Chicago

1975 Moves to Tarrytown, New York

1976 Represented by Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York City

1979 Receives honorary doctorate from Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio

1980 Robert Kipniss: The Graphic Work catalogue raisonné published by Abaris Books

1982 Begins working in mezzotint

1983 First marriage ends

1989 Receives honorary doctorate from Illinois College, Jacksonville, Illinois; moves to Ardsley-on-Hudson, New York

1990 Intensifies intaglio practice, particularly mezzotint; lithography wanes

1994 Marries writer Laurie Lisle; establishes second home and studio in Sharon, Connecticut; makes final lithographs with George C. Miller and Son

1995 Represented by The Redfern Gallery, London, England; begins printing intaglios with Kathy Caraccio Studio, New York City

1998 Represented by The Old Print Shop, New York City

1999 Represented by Weinstein Gallery, San Francisco and Galerie Gerda Bassenge, Berlin

2000 Represented by Beadleston Gallery, New York City

2003 Begins printing with Anthony Kirk at The Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Norwalk, Connecticut

2004 Robert Kipniss: Intaglios, 1982-2004 catalogue raisonné published by Hudson Hills; archive of 69 prints established at Wittenberg University

2005 Robert Kipniss: Paintings, 1950-2005 monograph published by Hudson Hills

2006 "Seen in Solitude: Robert Kipniss Prints from the James F. White Collection," retrospective of prints with selected paintings, opens at the New Orleans Museum of Art and travels to five additional museums; review by Roberta Hershenson, "Show Marked by Poignancy," The New York Times, February 26, 2006.

2007 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of American Graphic Artists, New York City

2008 Represented by Ebo Gallery, Millwood, New York

2010 Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Art from The Artists' Fellowship, New York City

2011 Robert Kipniss: A Working Life memoir published by the University Press of New England

2011 Represented by Franklin Riehlman Gallery, New York City

2013 Robert Kipniss: Paintings and Poetry, 1950-1964 published by The Artist Book Foundation, North Adams, Massachusetts; papers acquired by the Smithsonian Archives of American Art; continues printing with Anthony Kirk at Anthony Kirk Editions

2016 Solo exhibition of paintings at Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Indiana; solo exhibition of the graphics at Syracuse University Art Museum to celebrate the establishment of archive of 352 prints

2017 Shine, a novella, published by Four Directions Press, Rhinebeck, New York

2018 Retires from painting due to physical limitations, continues to draw and make intaglio prints

2019 Archive of 16 paintings and 110 prints established at Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Indiana

2020 Resides full-time in Sharon, Connecticut, maintains studio in Ardsley-on-Hudson, New York

2023 Exhibition at The Artist Book Foundation, North Adams, Massachusetts, to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Robert Kipniss: Paintings and Poetry, 1950-1964

Selected Public Collections 

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. CA 
Albertina Museum, Vienna, Austria
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston, ME
Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris
The British Museum, London
Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio
Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI
Elvehjem Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI
Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY
Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England
Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, MI
Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, SC
Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, MA
Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, NY
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN
Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick, NJ
University of Richmond Museums, Richmond, VA
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Minnesota Museum of American Art, Saint Paul, MN
Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, North Carolina
Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MI
Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY
Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia, Cali, Colombia
Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO
New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, Louisiana
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Pinakothek der Moderne, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich
Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, England
Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, MO
Syracuse University Art Gallery, Syracuse, NY
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT

Solo gallery exhibitions/representation

The Old Print Shop, New York, New York, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2014, 2017, 2023

Ebo Gallery, Millwood, New York, 2008 – present (online and by appointment)

Davidson Gallery, Seattle, Washington, 1982, 1983, 1993, 1999, ongoing representation through 2022

Weinstein Gallery, San Francisco, California, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015

Harmon-Meek Gallery, Naples, Florida, 1999, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2015

Alan Avery Art Company, Atlanta, Georgia, 2012

Franklin Riehlman Gallery, New York, New York, 2012

The White Gallery, Lakeville, Connecticut, 2010

Acme Fine Art, Boston, Massachusetts, 2009

Beadleston Gallery, New York, New York, 2001, 2003

Gerhard Wurzer Gallery, Houston, Texas, 1981, 1986, 1988, 1997, 1999

Galerie Gerda Bassenge, Berlin, Germany, 1999

Jane Haslem Gallery, Washington, DC, 1976,1998

Molesey Gallery, East Molesey, Surrey, England, 1995, 1999

Piasa, Tokyo, Japan, 2001

Redfern Gallery, London, 1995, 2000

Gallery New World, Dusseldorf, Germany, 1996, 1998

Venable/Neslage Gallery, Washington, DC, 1995, 1997

Hexton Gallery, New York, New York, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997

Taunhaus Gallery, Osaka and Kanazawa, Japan, 1994

The River Gallery, Irvington, New York, 1978, 1992, 1996

OK Harris Works of Art, New York, New York, 1991

Enatsu Gallery, Tokyo, Japan, 1987, 1988, 1990

John Szoke Gallery, New York, New York, 1985

ICA, Nagoya, Japan, 1984

Austin Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona, 1983

Nancy Teague Gallery, Seattle, Washington, 1982, 1983

Payson/Weisberg Gallery, New York, New York, 1981, 1983

Gage Gallery, Washington, DC, 1981

Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, New York, 1979, 1980

Associated American Artists (AAA), New York, New York, 1970 – 77; 1977 graphics retrospective

Quadrum Gallery, Marblehead, Massachusetts, 1977 - 80

G.W. Einstein Gallery, New York, New York, 1976, 1977

Galeria de Arte, Lima, Peru, 1976, 1977

Galeria San Diego, Bogota, Colombia, 1975, 1977

Xochipili Gallery, Rochester, Michigan, 1975

FAR Gallery, New York, New York, 1964, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1975

The Contemporaries, New York, New York, 1959, 1960, 1966, 1967

Galeria del Monte, Santa Barbara, California, 1965

Graham Gallery, New York, New York, 1964

Alan Auslander Gallery, New York, New York, 1963

Nordness Gallery, New York, New York, 1961 

Harry Salpeter Gallery, New York, New York, 1953

Creative Gallery, New York, New York, 1951