This intriguing monograph of painter and printmaker Robert Kipniss is an intimate look at a memorable period in his life and career. 'Robert Kipniss: Paintings and Poetry, 1950-1964' is the result of many arduous months of revisiting his more-than-half- a-century-ago writing, poems that were stashed away and essentially forgotten. 'Some of the poems are straightforward, some are infused with surreal irony, and some are angry,' says Kipniss in his candid and honest Preface.
Thoughtful and articulate from conception to completion, his never-before- published poems are choreographed with his early paintings in this contemplation of the influential and foundational years from 1950 to 1964. 'When I stopped writing [in 1961] my vision was no longer divided between word-thinking and picture-thinking: these approaches had merged and in expressing myself I was more whole' reflects Kipniss in his retrospective musings.
Readers of this gorgeous volume are all the richer for catching a glimpse of an intensely personal segment of this accomplished artist's private history.
In an unambiguous assessment, Kipniss elaborates, 'The most significant insight that arose in this undertaking...came when I began to collate reproductions of my paintings of the 1950s. I could clearly see that my work in the two mediums were from very differing parts of my psyche, and that while they were both in themselves completely engaged, they were not in any way together.' This written and visual account of previously unpublished poems and early paintings, which were critically acclaimed, are accompanied by two astute and illustrative essays that further enlighten.