At age 82, Jim Dine says that he just wants to keep working and growing. “That’s all I want to do.” he said, “There is a sense of desperation when you’re in the red zone.” Dine has been thinking about his legacy, and has gifted many of his works works to museums around the world, including the Boston Museum and British Museums.

Jim Dine’s Gifts to Australia

It was British Museum curator, Stephen Coppel, an Australian, who convinced Dine to gift some of his work to the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in Melbourne. The NGV is the oldest, largest and most visited art museum in Australia. Built in 1861, it is home to works by great masters like Rembrandt,  El Greco, Correggio, Rothko, Cezanne, Degas and, now, Jim Dine.

Dine gave the NGV about 250 works, works that span nearly half a century, making it the only significant collection of Jim Dine artworks in the southern hemisphere, according to NGV Director, Tony Ellwood. The NGV is currently displaying a large part of the collection in an exhibit called Jim Dine: A Life in Print.

Variations of Dine’s familiar objects, like the bathrobe, are prominent, including “Two Florida Bathrobes” 1986, “The Kindergarten Robes” 1983, “Blue Robe” 2007 and “Cream and Red Robe on Stone” 2010. Although his works will be there, Dine will not. He was invited to the opening, but said, “It’s too goddamn far. I’ve got work to do, I can’t spend a whole year on jet lag.” The exhibit runs through October 15th.

“I interfere almost continually, between pulls, with my hand. I enjoy keeping my hand in and f___ing with it.”

Moving Right Along

He won’t go to Australia, but Jim Dine has been traveling. He has been working in a studio in Paris, and has had recent shows in Vienna, Rome and Chicago. “Some young painters I know have inspired me to think in another way about what’s possible with color.” Dine said.

“It wasn’t until I was 75 years old that I left it all behind to become a so-called abstract painter.” he said, “So for two years I made paintings about painting; I wouldn’t call them abstract. They are concrete paintings of paint. But the imagery, the human image has crept back in.” Dine is still as fascinated with the printmaking process as he’s ever been. “I interfere almost continually, between pulls, with my hand.” he said, “I enjoy keeping my hand in and f___ing with it.”

Jim Dine Works For Sale at VFA

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