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  • Rimbaud the Coffee Exporter by Jim Dine

Rimbaud the Coffee Exporter by Jim Dine

Petersburg Press



Edition Size: 25

Image Size: 5.5 x 3.5 inches

Sheet Size: 26 x 20 inches

Reference: Jim Dine: Prints 1970-1977. Williams College. Museum of Art, 1976, no. 156 illustrated.


Condition: Excellent

Details — Click to read

Jim Dine has expertly sketched the accomplished French poet and coffee trader Arthur Rimbaud. A vignette of dark brown surrounds his thin, fine features, which are defined with a flurry of lines and crosshatching. Rimbaud’s etched features, scruffy stubble and intense, faraway stare paint the picture of a worldly libertine. Dine has scrawled “RIMBAUD” on the poet’s forehead, suggesting the significance of a man known by a single name.

Dine was a frequent collaborator at Petersburg Press, where he created the majority of his prints in the 1970s. Dine was drawn to experimentation, moving easily between printmaking methods, and often printing multiple variations from the same plate as he worked progressively on the image. It was the founder of Petersburg Press, Paul Cornwall-Jones, who suggested this technique to Dine, advising that he work back into etching plates, effacing some areas, adding marks in other areas, and cutting plates down. This technique would become a core practice for Dine, informing his practice to this day. Dine produced a series of seven etchings of Rimbaud from the same plate used in this work which is fifth in the series – progressively reducing the plate size and adding etched lines with each new image, culminating in drilling out the eyes to raise the white paper in relief.

Born 1854 in the rural town of Charleville, France, Arthur Rimbaud ran away to Paris as a teenager, where he befriended the renowned poet Paul Verlaine. Verlaine published Rimbaud’s poetry, and the two entered into a tumultuous relationship, culminating in Verlaine’s imprisonment for shooting Rimbaud in the hand. In 1873, Rimbaud abandoned his literary aspirations for an itinerant lifestyle, enlisting as a soldier in the Dutch Colonial Army only to abscond from Java to Cyprus, finding work as a translator and as a stone quarry supervisor. With intermittent trips home to his parent’s farm in Charleville, Rimbaud then took up residence in Yemen, where he worked at a coffee sorting house. He rose quickly in the ranks, and his talent for languages and shrewd merchant instincts led to a profitable contract exporting beans from Ethiopia. By Rimbaud’s untimely passing at 37, he knew more about coffee than perhaps any European alive.

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The Artist

Jim Dine

Jim Dine is an American pop artist who was born in Ohio in 1935 and was known for his painting, drawing, sculpting and printmaking. He is considered to be a part of the Neo-Dada movement, a style that opposed the emotional expressions of Abstract Impressionism and instead, denies aesthetics by using mundane subjects and focusing on performance. Dine was first recognised by the art industry when he displayed ‘Happenings’ a type of performance art in collaboration with the musician John Cage. In 1959, it was exhibited over six days in an environment or installation in New York City’s Reuben Gallery, where features of light, sound, projects and viewer participation all played a part in the display.

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