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Jim Dine, Some Drawings at Neuberger Museum
Jim Dine, Tool Drawing II (detail), 1983, mixed media, 70 x 70 in., Collection of Arne and Milly Glimcher.

PURCHASE, NY.-Jim Dine, some drawings features 84 drawings in watercolor, charcoal, enamel, pastel and other media by one of the most well-known artists from the last forty years of American art. Essentially an expressionist with a classical bent, Jim Dine’s style emphasizes draftsmanship while underscoring the ultimate importance of emotional content. His autobiographical images of robes, hearts, tools and the Venus De Milo, which appear repeatedly in paintings, prints and sculptures, are legendary. In 1959, Dine had his first exhibition with fellow artist and co-collaborator, Claes Oldenburg. Using everyday objects as his signature subjects, Dine came to prominence as a Pop artist in the early 1960s. Beginning in 1970s, figuration and life drawing became the impetus behind much of his work, and Dine frequently used mixed media and ready-mades to produce his paintings. He subsequently returned to traditional painting techniques incorporated with collage, printing, etching, and paper-making.

Many of the works in the exhibition are drawn from the artist's own collection and the collection of Arnie Glimcher, Diana Michener, and PaceWildenstein, NY. They include large-scale drawings as well as more typical full-sheet size drawings. Jim Dine, some drawings is organized by the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH, where it has been on view. The exhibition is curated by Stephanie Wiles, Director, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, with Jim Dine. After leaving the Neuberger Museum, the exhibition will travel to the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.

“The works on view in Jim Dine, some drawings show the intense way in which he observes the world around him and the excitement with which he records it on paper,” writes Stephanie Wiles. “Dine captivates us with the way he sees and the way he makes images his own. The restlessness of his vision, the erasures and continual reworking of line, his facility with whatever media comes to hand – all point to the artist’s great pleasure in the act of drawing.”

Dine indicates that he does not try to reproduce what an object looks like but strives to capture its essence. “My life is really a history of observing forms and taking in imagery. I don’t mean in a photographic way, I mean in a way of feeling them structurally,” Dine writes in the catalogue that accompanies the exhibition. He views his life as a history of observing forms and taking in imagery. Drawing makes invention more accessible for him. In drawing, there is an immediacy which starts the invention process. Even so, he expresses frustration in the fact that the process often takes a long time, and that the images sometimes don’t happen right away. “I have to noodle around and find it on the paper or in my hand,” he says.

Dine was born in 1935 in Cincinnati, OH. He attended University of Cincinnati and The Boston Museum of Fine Arts School and in 1957, he received a BFA degree from the University of Ohio. In 1958, he was lured away from the graduate program at Ohio University by the excitement of the New York art scene. Dine actively sought out and befriended many of his already established contemporaries, including Jasper Johns, Claes Oldenburg, Allan Kaprow, and Larry Rivers. His first involvement with the art world occurred during the Happenings staged by Allan Kaprow in 1959-60, in which artists actively exchanged ideas, sometimes resulting in a change of focus or content in an individual's work. A full-color publication of the exhibition, featuring essays by Jim Dine and Vincent Katz, is published by Steidl and available in the Neuberger Museum of Art Store.

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