Senior & Shopmaker is pleased to announce an exhibition of early prints and drawings by Jim Dine, an artist whose singular achievement in graphic media has earned him a distinguished place in American art history of the post-war era.
Now in his 80th year, Jim Dine has been active as a printmaker since 1960, putting this practice on equal par with his work in drawing, painting, and sculpture. Using the mediums of intaglio, lithography, and woodcut to transformational effect, Dine has developed a lexicon of now legendary images. One of the primary themes in the early prints is the depiction of man-made objects isolated from their normal functions, which through Dine’s expert hand, take on uncanny personae and character attributes. Among his other signature images, such as hearts, robes, and paintbrushes, tools have served as autobiographical stand-ins relating in part to childhood memories of a family-owned hardware store in Cincinnati, Ohio. This imagery can also be read as a metaphor for art making, or “the extension of the hand” in Dine’s words. The exhibition includes a rare set of hand-colored lithographs, Ten Winter Tools (Handcolored), 1973, consisting of expressionistically drawn objects: a wrench, scissors, awl, fork, spoon, etc., to which the artist added understated touches of watercolor. Each is depicted on a separate sheet in serial fashion, hinting at nascent developments in minimal and conceptual art of the time. The series was created in a small edition of ten unique sets. Tools-The Rainbow, 1970, is one of Dine’s earliest lithographs, and is also hand-colored with collage additions. In Five Paint Brushes (first state), 1972, Dine exploits the expressive potential of etching, bringing a row of brushes to life in magical fashion. Also on view are two pastel and pencil drawings from 1962: Scissor and Blue Crescent Wrench.
Dine’s paintings, sculptures, photography, and prints have been the subject of nearly 300 solo exhibitions worldwide. In 2011, the Jim Dine Print Archive was established at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Consisting of more than 900 works, it is the largest repository of the artist’s graphic work.