DescriptionJIM DINE (American, 1935-)
Untitled (The Cheese Weeze), 1970
Mixed media and collage on paper
60 x 40 inches (152.4 x 101.6 cm)
Signed and dated verso: Jim Dine / 1970
PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED COLLECTION
Sonnabend Gallery, New York, (label verso);
Acquired by the current owner from the above in 1972.
Diverse in subject and theme, Jim Dine's career has spanned nearly four decades during which he has experimented in various media including painting, sculpting, printmaking and photography. His combination of painted surfaces, written text and found objects challenges the division between High Art and real life. Dine moved to New York in 1958 at the birth of the Pop Art movement and "Happenings" in which Dine was an early participant together with Allan Kaprow (1927-2006), John Cage (1912-1992) and Claes Oldenburg (b. 1929).
Tools, robes, palettes, trees, gates and hearts have been recurring themes in Dine's work. The Heart made its first appearance in 1965 when he incorporated it into stage designs for a San Francisco production of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream. As a motif in his art, Dine likes this universally recognized emblem of one's emotional core as a human being. He returns to it again and again, using it as a backdrop for what he describes as "symbolic self portraits." The Heart for Dine embodies a gamut of personal impressions, emotions, and memories.
This large-scale work incorporates areas of scattered paint, block-printed text, stenciled numbers, painted vegetables and cartoon-like animals. Dine then attached a cut-out watercolor depicting a red bleeding heart and a brush, a found object, to the center of the composition. This work was completed shortly after Dine returned from London and moved to a small farm in Putney, Vermont. Vermont has historically relied upon dairy farming for its agricultural income, hence the title, The Cheese Weeze. This assemblage of vegetables, animals, cheese, and Heart thus represents an autobiographical account of his experience in southern Vermont, when it was new and fresh and emotionally charged.
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