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Asleep with his Tools, Jim Dreams, 2018, Jim Dine

Jim Dine Prints are known for their strong, graphic style, bright colors, and straightforward, popular imagery. This aesthetic is apparent in all of his work, including his iconic prints. By singling out simple shapes and objects and depicting them over and over, Dine suggests that these are important subjects for artistic study. The catalogue of Jim Dine Prints includes many depictions of hearts, tools and bathrobes because these are elements that have special meaning in his life.

Dine frequently revisits certain powerful symbols and objects in endeavoring to create a deeper interpretation of the significance he attaches to them. He views this work as an examination of the impact of these archetypal symbols, rather than merely a celebration of them. This piece consists of a five-panel woodcut; each panel has been extensively hand-painted by the artist. The subject matter is quintessential Dine with a little added “magic”.

Each panel features a variety of tools and other implements evocative of Dine’s childhood spent in his grandparents’ Cincinnati hardware store; tools are a frequent motif in his work. These objects are accompanied by mythological elements—another subject with which Dine is fascinated (Venus is a frequent subject of his sculptural work).

In his later career Dine has revisited an early influence, Abstract Expressionism, and put his own spin on the genre as is evident in this work; all of the elements in the work are somewhat abstract in form and ablaze with colour.

Courtesy of Jonathan Novak Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.