Most of the people I see daily are printers. To be a painter is rather lonely, but I like the friendships I’ve made from printing. I don’t print with people who are assholes. – Jim Dine
Jim Dine is 83 and is still painting, printing, sculpting and writing poetry. He spends much of his time in his Paris studio and some of the time in his studio in New York, but wherever his is, he is working, still fascinated by the process of creating works of art.
Dine’s work, in every medium he uses, is very physical; it has texture, form and a flow of energy that it difficult to achieve, especially with prints. “I like what you get” Dine said. “I like cutting wood. I like drawing with acid on copper. I like drawing with the grease crayon on litho stones, so there is a sensuous physical pleasure from it.”
It has been printmakers who have helped Dine find techniques that he has used for decades. When Dine wanted to find a way of making etchings that look like charcoal drawings, he asked Austrian printmaker, Kurt Zein, if such a thing was even possible. It took Zein a few months, but he actually came up with a solution. Collaborations with master printers has been a large part of Dine’s work.
For 60 years, this has been a constant source of camaraderie. “Working with those people – some dead, some living, some still printing for me – has enhanced my life, not just my printing life but my existence as a human being. It’s been a pleasure.” Dine said.
Jim Dine’s Prints of Hearts
In 1962, Jim Dine’s work was included in the ground-breaking New Painting of Common Objects exhibit at the Norton Simon Museum. Dine’s work, shown alongside works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha and others, was one of the first Pop Art exhibits in America and changed the course of modern art.
The exhibit brought attention to Dine’s artwork and the Happenings he performed in, but not in a way that felt good to Dine. “It was a party I was not really invited to.” Dine said, “It was not some place I felt comfortable and I stood back against the wall – after the performances I made. The performances were not pop art. They were the painters’ theatre.”
Rather than focus on objects derived from popular culture, Dine used, and still uses, objects that are very personal and have emotional impact for him.
When poet Ilka Skobie asked Dine what makes hearts so intriguing to him and how many works he has done with hearts, Dine said, “Millions. . . . I have no idea but it’s mine and I use it as a template for all my emotions. It’s a landscape for everything. It’s like Indian classical music — based on something very simple but building to a complicated structure. Within that you can do anything in the world. And that’s how I feel about my hearts.”
Jim Dine: Prints of Hearts at VFA
We have a variety of works, in different mediums, by Jim Dine at VFA. Please contact us if you would like more information.
Lisa Marder. The Heartfelt Art of Jim Dine. ThoughtCo. February 08, 2019.
Ilka Skobie. LONE WOLF. An interview with Jim Dine. artnet Magazine. June 28, 2010.
Stephanie Bunbury. Artist Jim Dine, printmaking pioneer and hater of Trump, gives 249 works to NGV. The Sidney Morning Herald. July 5, 2017.
Martin Gayford. Jim Dine’s six-decade experiment. Apollo Magazine. April 15, 2017.