Jim Dine (b. 1935) is an unusually prolific American artist, whose œuvre spans the media of painting, drawing, sculpture, prints, performance, illustrated books, and set design. After studying at the Cincinnati Arts Academy, the Boston Museum School, and Ohio University (BFA, 1957), he moved to New York where he eventually became involved, along with Claes Oldenburg and others, in organizing “Happenings,” or makeshift events that took place in chaotic environments designed by the artists. From that experience he moved to assemblages, or three-dimensional collages made from objets trouvés, and then eventually settled into a large set of recurring images of everyday objects which he incorporates into paintings, drawings, prints, books, and sculptures.
His common images are bathrobes, shoes, ties, bathroom fixtures, and artist’s tools such as brushes, palettes, and paint boxes. Their recurrence in different settings invites a renewed awareness and interpretation of the object and of the use to which the object is put in ordinary life.
Dine does not fit neatly into any post-war or contemporary category. His early performance work has elements of conceptualism and his use of everyday articles of life hints at pop art, but he has never been fully committed to either movement. He has been considered by some to be a forerunner of figurative and neo-expressionist trends.
Success came early after his move to New York, and his first one man show took place at the Reuben Gallery in 1960. Only ten years later he had his first major retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art. He is currently in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Centre Georges Pompidou, the National Gallery of Art, the Museum of Fine Art – Boston, and the Whitney, among many others.
Dine has always been a devoted maker of books beginning in the early 1960s with a contribution to 1¢ Life and extending to the present. He has worked frequently with well known American and English fine presses such as the Petersburg Press and the Arion Press.
Books with Jim Dine available from Boreas Fine Art:
[ Dine, Jim ] The Apocalypse: The Revelation of St. John the Divine. San Francisco: Arion Press. 1982.
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