National Gallery of Art - EXHIBITIONS

Image: Drawings of Jim Dine,
Exhibition Information | Selected Highlights

Introduction

Drawing is not an exercise.
Exercise is sitting on a stationary bicycle and going nowhere.
Drawing is being on a bicycle and taking a journey.
For me to succeed in drawing, I must go fast and arrive somewhere.
The quest is to keep the thing alive...
--Jim Dine, 2003

Jim Dine (born 1935) has been a dynamic presence in the art world for more than four decades. His reputation soared during the early sixties, when his mixed-media assemblages--works that incorporate store-bought items such as tools, ties, and bathroom fixtures--drew him into the world of pop art. Although his name grew to be inextricably linked to pop, the relationship was always an uneasy fit. Dine was ill suited to the movement's cool approach. Indeed, he persistently chose imagery with personal resonance and favored the expressive and handmade over the impassive and mechanical.

Image: Photo of Jim Dine, copyright 2003 Diana Michener 
Dine's regard for the work of earlier artists--Vincent van Gogh, Edvard Munch, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, among others--deepened when he lived abroad between 1967 and 1971. At the same time, he distanced himself from emerging movements such as minimalism, with its emphasis on simple geometric forms. When Dine returned to the United States in 1971 he began to draw regularly, and by 1974 he had embarked on a self-styled course in life drawing. For an artist so steeped in the avant-garde, it was a dramatic, if not defiant, shift.
Photo copyright ©2003 Diana Michener
This exhibition focuses on Dine's drawings from about 1970 to the present, featuring themes for which he is renowned--his images of tools--as well as owls, the human figure, ancient sculpture, nature, and fictional characters such as Pinocchio. While Dine's range of expression now encompasses everything from painting to photography, drawing remains at the core. He regards it as probably the most direct and essential means of artistic expression. Image: Photo of Jim Dine, copyright 2003 Diana Michener
Photo copyright ©2003 Diana Michener

Exhibition Information | Selected Highlights