Though the American artist Jim Dine is often labelled as a Pop artist because of his incorporation of everyday consumer goods into his paintings and sculptures, his work stands apart from other Pop artists due to its painterly style in the tradition of Abstract Expressionism, and the deeply personal and sincere nature of his approach.Read More
Jim Dine's practice has also been compared to that of Jasper Johns, who also attached tools to his paintings. However, while Johns' rebus-like pieces consider the logic of language, cultural symbols, and art-historical personages in an icy manner, Dine's pieces are much more whimsical.
Jim Dine studied at both the University of Cincinnati and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston before receiving a BFA from Ohio University in 1957 and moving to New York the following year. There, he participated in Happenings—the interdisciplinary art community performances devised by Allan Kaprow in the 1950s—and collaborated regularly with Pop sculptor Claes Oldenburg.
In the early 1960s Jim Dine began the assemblage paintings for which he is perhaps best known. To these he would attach everyday objects such as rope, tools, and neckties. Protruding from the canvas of Child's Blue Wall (1962), for example, is a child's toy castle and figurine, above them a functioning light bulb.
Much of Jim Dine's work is subtly autobiographical. His use of tools in works such as Five Feet of Colorful Tools (1962) are as symbols of consumer culture, but they also reference his childhood, when he would play in his grandfather's hardware store. Similarly, the later bathrobe paintings and prints, such as The Woodcut Bathrobe (1975), stemmed from a desire to create self-portraits that did not include his face.
The 1970s and 1980s marked Jim Dine's return to more traditional painting, printmaking, and drawing. He was particularly inspired by the flora and fauna that surrounded him in Vermont, where he still lives and works. During this period he also continued his well-known heart motif in paintings such as Hearts in the Meadow (1970) and lithographs such as The Earth (1984).
Jim Dine has held solo exhibitions at many prestigious institutions worldwide, including Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome (2020); Centre Pompidou Málaga (2019); National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2017); and Museum Folkwang, Essen (2015). His work is the collections of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Nagoya.
As well as regularly exhibiting, Jim Dine has illustrated texts such as Arthur Rimbaud's A Season in Hell (1976) and Guillaume Apollinaire's The Poet Assassinated (1968). He is also a poet, and his Poems To Work On: The Collected Poems of Jim Dine was published in 2015 with a foreword by Vincent Katz.
Biography by Ocula | 2020
In the winter of 1960, a young man appeared at the Judson Memorial Church in Lower Manhattan for a brief performance. He was wearing a stained artist’s smock; in his hands were a can of paint and a brush. First he painted the words ‘I love what I’m doing’ on the canvas behind him, then he drank some of the paint (it was actually tomato juice)...