A contemporary painter and assemblage artist, Jim Dine has created gestural, sometimes heavily impastoed work with a style that hearkens to Abstract Expressionism. A major early influence was Jasper Johns from whom he learned methods of random juxtaposing of real objects shadowed by painted copies.
Since the mid-1970s, his work has reflected his skill as a draftsman and has focused more on traditional pictorial problems rather than leading-edge improvisation.
He was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, and studied there at the Art Academy and the University of Cincinnati from where he earned a B.F.A. in 1958. In 1959, he moved to New York City where he established a studio for the major part of his career, although he was artist-in-residence for short periods including Williams College in Massachusetts, Oberlin College in Ohio, and Cornell College in New York state.
Early in New York, he was part a spontaneous performance artist group, "Happenings," that included Red Grooms, Allan Kaprow, and Claes Oldenburg. His pieces from that time, some with flashing lights, were part of the assemblage of events staged by those artists regardless of whether or not they had an audience.
In the following years, many of his canvases had big letters and objects such as hatchets and saws that suggested viewer participation.
His work is represented in most of the major art museums featuring contemporary American work including in New York the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum. A special exhibition of his work, "Jim Dine Walking Memory," was held at the Cincinnati Art Museum in October, 1999 to January 2000.
The New French Tools 3 (For Pep)
Etching, aquatint and electric tools on tan wove paper, 1984.
Image Size: 23 1/2x19 1/4inches, full margins.
Signed, dated and numbered 2/50 in pencil, lower margin.
Printed by Atelier Crommelynck, Paris. Published by Pace, New York.
From New French Tools. D'Oench/Feinberg 173.
A very good impression
Dine's New French Tools series marked his return to these common place subjects of the
1960s and 1970s. The copper plates used in these etchings were extensively worked using power
tools in the Atelier Commelynck, Paris workshop. The plate for the present work would later be
reworked in the following year to produce Tools and Dreams. The titles for the New French Tools set
relate to Dine's memories of Paris, "Pep" being the nickname of the printer Aldo Crommelynck's
wife. Crommelynck had a close working relationship with Dine, together they collaborated on more
than 100 prints.
Dine is inspired by the power of simple images to be both familiar and symbolic. His repetitions of tools, bathrobes, or hearts are easily understood by the viewer, while also suggesting deeper layers of meaning. He often works with subjects and images from his childhood, giving his work both a sense of innocence and shared nostalgia. Jim Dine has created a vocabulary out ofsubjects that have a child-like appeal, such as tools, birds, and hearts. These personally nostalgicsymbols are also commonplace and universal, creating work that is both autobiographical and open
to interpretation. Dine was also instrumental in the first "Happenings," progenitor of Performance art. These Happenings challenged the seriousness and elitism of Abstract Expressionism, de-emphasizing the art object in favor of a performative, interactive, process. Over his career, Dine hasboth questioned the status of the artwork and continued a tradition of making work full of symbolism and allegory.Jim Dine studied at the University of Cincinnati and the Boston Museum School, and receivedhis B.F.A. from Ohio University, Athens, where he was also enrolled in the graduate program.
"White Robe on Black" 1977
Lithograph on Black Paper
Sheet Size: 53" x 37 1/2"
Signed and numbered in pencil
Lily, From Flowers of Manhattan
"Sunflower Heart from 2005 suite
Sheet Size: 20"x26"