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Getting what you want
BTW, there is a substantial collection of Kipniss litho's mezzo's and oils at McLean Arts and Books.
This is in response to Mike, whose complaints re Kipniss are filled with "aggressive misinformation." Regarding edition sizes, the great majority of the Kipniss lithographs were done in editions of 90, not very large for an artist who successfully exhibits world-wide. The larger editions, usually 260, were done exclusively for a division of the Book of the Month Club, called Fine Arts 260, active mainly in the 1970s. These editions are mostly what are offered on eBay. They originally were sold for about $125.- framed. There were a few large editions for a couple of publishers who insisted on HCs. He virtually stopped making lithos in 1990 and has been working in mezzotint since then, in which his editions have been between only 40 and 60.
Many Kipniss prints sell for a very high prices, high because of the demand for those particular images. I have rarely, if ever, have seen these images that command high prices offered on eBay. Kipniss spends on average about 150 to 200 hours on a mezzotint, and has gone as much as 800 hours. True, he doesn't rock his own plates, but he has paid artists to rock plates for him and he has not found them as good as the machine rocked variety. He has said that he would prefer to use his time making art rather than mindless repetitive craft. Sylvan Cole, the legendary print dealer, once said, "I don't care how an artist makes art, I only care if it is good art." Would an artist's paintings be superior if he ground his own pigments? Hardly.
Over the last 60 years Kipniss has had more than 200 one artist shows world-wide, more than 20 of those in fine museums. Currently, one of his mezzotints is hanging in a show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. His work has been hung at the Whitney and the British Museum, the latter owning 60 of his works. Be further reminded that Mr. Kipniss is primarily a painter, whose oils are just as prized as his prints.
Mike, you're entitled to your opinion, but you're not entitled to your own facts.
I've twice visited the Weinstein gallery in San Fran. Their prices are geared for the tourists; at least as far as Kipniss is concerned. I've been collecting his work for a few years and have found much better pricing on Ebay, Craigslist, and at auction.
Weinstein's prices for Kipniss lithos are often in excess of 10 times what the same litho would cost elsewhere. Weinstein's prices on Kipniss' oil paintings may be 5 to 15 times higher. I recently bought 2 Kipniss oil paintings at auction for approx $5000. 1 @ 30 x 40 and the other @ 12 x 16. Had they been sold through Weinstein, the price for both would prob have been north of $35,000.
I wish Kipniss would slow down his output as well as the qty of each edition. He's running a close 2nd to Pat Buckley Moss, who may be America's queen of overproduced art.
I am an avid collector of prints, but not necessarily of Mr. Kipness. Kipness is a PROLIFIC artist who produces his prints in typically large editions with often mutliple HC and proofs also. Wile most of his work is consistently very good and complex, it is also VERY similar to most of the rest of his work -- so very few collectors would likely want to own more than a few. I happen to think that the mentioned SF gallery and others just want crazy $ for his work. A more true value is indeed eBay where his prints consistently sell for about 10[%] of the SF gallery price. I also have seen his prints almost given away at auction -- and that is with a room full of dealers who understand the true retail value.
In contract to Kipness, there are a few other contemporary artists who specialize in mezzotint and dark moody aquatints such as Craig McPherson, Fred Mershimer, Art Werger, Bill Behnken, Laurent Schkolnyk, Merle Perlmutter, Carol Wax, Mikio Watanabe, and a few others. All of these artists do similarly complex work, and only McPherson demands similarly high prices for his prints. The reason is that he does VERY few prints (MAYBE 1 a year) because he takes the time to painfully hand rock his own plates -- as opposed to using machine rocked or re-rocked imported (Asian?) plates like Mr. Kipness. I've seen McPherson's mezzotints sell for $500 to $14,000 at auction! I'm also sure that part of this is because his monumental in size and scope cityscapes are simply more in demand and interesting. (I mean, how many open windows with wavvy curtains and a tree in the lawn does one need to see?) All of that known, I would suggest for a new collector to look at the work of these other artists mentioned -- particularly Werger, Mershimer, Wax, and Behnken.
Galleries v. Ebay
The pricing differences between reputable galleries and Ebay (which can have reputable inventory as well) is somewhat more complex than might seem at first glance. It isn't a simple straight one to one comparison. A critical component is condition which is almost certainly going to be pristine in a gallery, and likely suspect in an Ebay transaction. Works on paper are prone to light staining and fading, not to mention the possible effects of improper framing. This is almost never an issue at a fine gallery. Inventory is also more likely both available or obtainable at a gallery as opposed to the somewhat random postings on ebay.
Also, other major auction houses regularly carry works by Kipniss, both paintings and prints. It's not just at Ebay.
One other item, someone earlier asked about a print with the notation H/C. This means hors de commerce which loosely translates as works that were for people involved in the production of the work. They are equal in quality to a print from the edition.
good point about the discrepancy in gallery and ebay prices. A gallery typically wants to build a relationship with its customers, courting them for future purchases, and of course they have to pay
tremendous rent in SF. Ebay is probably a better gauge of something's present value. You can pay for appraisals on these works, and insure them for absurd amounts, but at the end of the day, they're only worth what they would bring on ebay, in my opinion.
I just aquired a Kipniss mezzotint called "ghosts". It is awe inspiring! I didn't pick this treasure, it picked me. What a wonderful artist you are Mr.Kipniss keep doing this. You move me!!!!!!
I have an original lithograph from Kipness (14" x 18") signed and numbered (83/90). Excellent condition. I believe there's a Certificate of Authenticity under the backing but haven't removed the backing. Also don't know title, but it's a landscape with trees, a hill and a shed. Beautiful!
anyone know of a website that displays all/or most, of robert kipness lithographs. thanks,gary
What is the value of an original lithograph titled "Small Fields", framed, signed and numbered 180/250?
Kipniss Artist Proof- Rooftops Fragments
Have a litho mom picked up in Madison, Wisc. some time ago. It is proofed and signed. Can't find anything on the piece. Can anyone help?
Hand colored Kipniss?
I have a Kipniss that is not numbered. It has his typical Kipniss in pencil on the right and then H/C in pencil on the left. Does this stand for hand colored? I can't find anyone mentioning hand colored when discussing Kipniss. Is anyone familiar with Kipniss pieces like this? Thanks for any info.
Robert Kipniss "Backyard VI"
I have a Robert Kipniss Lithograph "Backyard VI" I can not find much infomation on this piece. About 5 years ago it was apraised at $5500. Does any one have any infomation on this rare piece?
Robert kipniss stopped doing lithographs in the early 90's, concentrating instead on mezzotints.
Lithographs vs mezzotints
My five Kipniss are lithographs, all I am seeing now are mezzotints. Is he no longer doing larger lithgraphs?