A Life in Print by Jim Dine
(8 Jul - 15 Oct 2017 at National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia)
Jim Dine came to prominence in New York in the radical artistic milieu of the late 1950s and 1960s, when social and cultural change inspired avant-garde artists to develop new approaches to art, including ‘Happenings’, Conceptualism and Minimalism. Dine was associated with Pop Art but did not align himself with any of the key artistic movements of the period. He is a painter, sculptor, printmaker and poet who has walked his own path. His subjects include everyday objects and symbols – tools, hearts, bathrobes, skulls and the Venus de Milo – which are charged with personal meaning. These signature motifs are explored in serial variation, across media, over years and sometimes decades. Printmaking is a central part of Dine’s oeuvre, and he has made more than 1000 etchings, lithographs and woodcuts over the course of his career, many of them executed on a monumental scale.
Featuring 100 works made between 1969–2013, Jim Dine: A Life in Print presents a survey of Dine’s print oeuvre. The exhibition reveals the artist‘s experimental approach to the medium: Dine combines various techniques and frequently uses power-tools to grind the plate, scrapes and rubs the paper to create new textures and marks, and ‘attacks’ the works in a series of spontaneous actions. Taking an unconventional approach to traditional materials and techniques, Dine injects his work with an expressive, energetic quality. This is Jim Dine’s first monographic exhibition in Australia, and the prints on display are part of a gift of 249 works which the artist donated to the NGV in 2016. (text by NGV)