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Jim Dine Prints

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Jim Dine, which is a nick name for James Dine was born on June 16, 1935 in Cincinnati, Ohio.He was an American painter, graphic artist, sculptor, and poet who began during the Pop art period as a forward looking creator of works that merged the painted canvas with ordinary objects of daily life. His constant themes included those of personal identity, memory, and the body.

Dine studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School and at Ohio University. He moved to New York City in 1958, and there he became involved in a group of artists Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, and Roy Lichtenstein whose work moved away from abstract expressionism toward pop art. They also started Happenings, an early form of performance art. His early work consists primarily of images on canvas to which three-dimensional objects such as articled of clothing and garden tools are attached. His Shoes Walking on My Brain (1960), for example, is a childlike painting of a face with a pair of leather shoes fixed to the forehead.

His reputation was obtained during the 1960s by his wise incongruous painted images of tools, clothes, and other utilitarian and household objects. He is particularly associated with the bathrobe and the stylized heart.

The subject of Dine’s work of the 1970s remained commonplace objects, but he showed a growing preoccupation with graphic media. His exploitation of nuances of line and texture is especially evident in his images of flowers and portraits of his wife done in the late 1970s.

In 1965, Dine was a guest lecturer at Yale University, New Haven, and artist-in-residence at Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio. He was a visiting critic at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, in 1966. However, in 1967 Dine and his family moved to London, England, where he spent most of his energies into printmaking and drawing. Dine's attention eventually turned to sculptural work in the early 1980s. This is when he created sculptures based on the sculpture Venus de Milo.

His recent art uses imagery borrowed from ancient Greek, Egyptian, and African objects. However, in his paintings, drawings, sculptures, graphics, collages and assemblages he combined different techniques with handwritten texts and words and set real everyday objects against undefined backgrounds. The objects were both commonplace and personal, both poetic and ironic, reflecting his feelings about life. His constantly varied bathrobe, transparent to the gaze of the world, was a kind of metaphor for a self-portrait.

Dine has always incorporated images of everyday objects in his art, but he diverged from the cold, heartlessness, and impersonal nature of pop art by making works that forged personal passions and everyday experiences. His repeated use of familiar and personally significant objects, such as a robe, hands, tools, and hearts, is a signature of his art. In his early work, Dine created mostly assemblages in which he attached actual objects to his painted canvases. From 1959 to 1960, Dine also was a pioneer of happenings, works of art that took the form of theatrical events or demonstrations.

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