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Jim Dine (American, b.b. 1935)

Art

Also known as:  JIM DINE

Biography:
Jim Dine is a founding member of the performance art movement. Although he was trained in Abstract Expressionism, he openly rejected a lineage with the movement, preferring to be associated with theater, and Neo-Dada works. His first exhibition of renown was alongside the Pop artists of the 1960’s, but he quickly distanced himself from this movement as well, diverging into the creation of an iconographic vocabulary that would last for more than five decades.

Among his well known motifs is a fixation with hand tools that emerged from his family’s business in hardware retail. Dine has said that his fascination with tools is with the anonymous hands that created them, and those unknown hands that will use them. Dine used the tools not only as subject, but ingredient in his art such as in his sculptural work Untitled, 1960 with which he adorns the edge of a mirror with gold leaf covered hammers, scissors, and screwdrivers. His Venus with Tools, 1983 features a recreation of the Venus de Milo, a later iconographic subject, with a saw bisecting the figure just below the waist. Other motifs include Pinocchio, robes, hearts, faucets, palettes, and other objects that Dine elevates to higher meaning, transcending Pop ideals by creating a personal narrative that connects his work closer to himself.

In addition to sculpture, painting, and performance, Dine is a prolific printmaker. He used power tools to create matrices for prints such as the intaglio work PRINTING OUTDOORS, 1980. This work is one of his robe studies, one of his most well known motifs. His prints emphasize the artist’s physical interaction with the creation of the matrices, and include woodcuts, lithographs, and etchings in addition to his power tool engravings.

Jim Dine can be found at work in his studios in Walla Walla, Washington, and New York City.

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