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Spring Online Edition, May 14 - 28, 2021

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Jim Kempner Fine Art

+1 (212) 206-6872

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Jim Kempner has been an art dealer, based in New York, since 1987. His focus has always been to be accessible to everyone, from the new collector, to the museum curator, to the curious neighbor who walks in off the street. For over three decades he has placed work in major private collections and museums, worldwide. Since moving to Chelsea in the fall of 1997, Jim has created a program that represents nearly 30 artists of different generations, whose work crosses a broad spectrum of mediums, from painting, drawing, and printmaking to sculpture and multi-media installation. Aside from the artists Jim Kempner Fine Art represents, the gallery spotlights work from the mid- to late-20th century. As a leading expert in prints, Jim represents the Dedalus Foundation (Robert Motherwell’s print archive) and has been a member of the International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA) for over 25 years.

Jim thrives on the relationships he fosters with his artists and his clients. These relationships have led to many artist commissions and projects such as published editions with Bernar Venet, Paula Scher, Robert Indiana, Charlie Hewitt and Rinaldo Frattolillo, as well as Gianfranco Gorgoni’s photographs of Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty. Other significant gallery publications/collaborations include the book Tracks, published in conjunction with the gallery’s 2015 survey exhibition of Rauschenberg’s Tracks series; LigoranoReese’s Line Up portfolio - in collaboration with Dru Arstark (under the name “Madness of Art Editions”) - as well as their 2020 sculpture, The Persistence of Truth. The gallery has worked with Yoko Ono three different times including, in the sculpture garden, her interactive Wish Tree.

Jim Kempner is also the creator/writer/star of the cult comedy web-series The Madness of Art, as well as the artistic creator of three editioned prints.

Jim Kempner Fine Art, on the corner of 23rd and 10th, continues to imbue that old-school art world feel: a place where his artists, clients and neighbors regularly stop by to view great work, hang out for a bit and talk of art, life and the gap between.

Image:

Nicola del Roscio, Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, and Robert Petersen working in Rauschenberg’s print shop, Captiva, Florida, 1971. Photo: Hans Namuth

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In 1981, when I was a 26-year-old, living in LA, and working 1000 hours
a week opening up the first Bed, Bath (and Beyond) store west of New
Jersey, I happened upon a small classified ad in the LA Times offering
prints by a number of artists, including Miro. I knew little of the
artworld besides what I had seen in museums, but I knew as soon as I
could afford it I wanted a colorful Miro. So, I called the number and
went to visit the private art dealer selling Miro prints. It was Jack
Rutberg. He spent 2 hours showing me every kind of print imaginable,
from 18th/19th-century Goya prints to 20th-century Picassos and
everything in between. Lithographs, etchings, mezzotints, woodcuts, etc.
A lesson worthy of a bachelor's degree. He must have recognized
something in me that made him spend the time. The world that Jack opened
up for me would change the course of art history - okay, maybe I'm
exaggerating, but it did change the course of my life. I left Jack's -
my mind ablaze with printmaking - and, after 6 years devouring
everything I could on the subject, I found myself a private art dealer
as well.

Now, four decades later, I have put together the exhibition Seven
Decades of Printmaking: 42 Artists as a sort of homage to the rich,
rewarding world of printmaking. Starting May 10th, in the gallery at
501 W. 23rd St., online and via social media, we will try to open up
this world to all who are interested, as Jack Rutberg so passionately
opened it up for me.

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Jim Kempner Fine Art 7 Decades | 42 Artists

Roy Lichtenstein

Before the Mirror

1975

42 3/4 x 32"

Lithograph, screenprint with embossing

Edition 100

$36,000

Robert Motherwell

Red Sea I

1976

41 1/2 x 29 1/4"

Etching and aquatint

Edition 100

$25,000

Pat Steir

Waterfall Monoprint #31

1988

44 1/2 x 35 1/2"

Monoprint

$20,000

Richard Diebenkorn

Tri-color II

1981

37 1/2 x 30 3/4"

Color aquatint with soft-ground etching

Edition 35

$24,700

Motherwell in his Greenwich print workshop with Catherine Mosley, November 1973 Courtesy the Dedalus Foundation Archives

Robert Rauschenberg

Water Stop

1968

54 x 32"

Lithograph

Edition 28

$20,000

Robert Blackburn and Robert Rauschenberg, Photo: Hans Namuth

Roy Lichtenstein

Before the Mirror

42 3/4 x 32"

Lithograph, screenprint with embossing

Edition 100

$36,000

Robert Motherwell

Red Sea I

41 1/2 x 29 1/4"

Etching and aquatint

Edition 100

$25,000

Pat Steir

Waterfall Monoprint #31

44 1/2 x 35 1/2"

Monoprint

$20,000

Richard Diebenkorn

Tri-color II

37 1/2 x 30 3/4"

Color aquatint with soft-ground etching

Edition 35

$24,700

Robert Rauschenberg

Water Stop

54 x 32"

Lithograph

Edition 28

$20,000