Jim Dine returns to galerie Templon in an explosion of colours, forms and techniques as he explores his favourite themes: the creative act, the self, and memory. At the age of 82, the American artist and poet, hard at work in his Montrouge studio, has never felt so free.
The gallery is revealing a previously unseen series of paintings the artist produced in his new studio during summer 2017. Each piece in the collection of self-portraits, abstract compositions and object-based landscapes tackles the same subject: painting itself, its inspiration, its production, and how its boundaries can be pushed. Each one bears within it the traces of pentimenti, a memory of the physical force from which it sprung. The surfaces of the canvases are worked with acrylic and sand, using a grinder, thus acquiring volume and materiality: Jim Dine emerges in a new dimension.
With his passion for engraving, the artist found inspiration in Edward Munch’s woodcuts for a new series of hallucinatory prints put together like puzzles. The artist overprints his media, incorporates new fragments and uses a chainsaw to draw new details, accumulating layers to the limits of the possible. Endless variations of the black ring of his head, as recognisable as the Norwegian artist’s The Scream, are produced by the different lines, colours and motifs. The highlight of the exhibition comes in the form of a 2, 5 metre bronze self-portrait: the artist’s head bristling with tools, as though proclaiming the power of the hand, over the power of the head?
Born in 1935 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Jim Dine lives and works in Paris (Montrouge), Göttingen (Germany) and Walla Walla (USA). Pioneer of the happening along with Claes Oldenburg and Allan Kaprow in the 1960s New York, he was quick to strike out on a unique path. Although his name is often associated with the Pop Art movement, his work defies categorisation. He experiments with a wide range of techniques and throws out the rule book in his work with wood, lithography, photography, metal and stone. In his view, the tool and the process are as crucial as the finished work. Since Jim Dine’s work was first shown in 1960, it has been presented at over 300 solo exhibitions all over the world. His work also features in more than 70 public collections throughout the world, including at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Musée National d’Art Moderne - Centre Pompidou in Paris, and Tate Collection in London. In 2016, Jim Dine was invited to collaborate with the Manufacture de Sèvres. It was there that he created Thru the stardust, the heat on the lawn (Claude), a series of 10 vases-sculptures in varnished terracotta, the lids stuck with tools and the surfaces covered with calligraphed poems penned by the artist. They were on display at the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris as part of the FIAC Hors les murs programme in October 2017.
In Spring 2018, the MNAM - Centre Pompidou will be dedicating an exhibition to the artist’s extraordinary donation of around twenty of his works.
The first written work in French dedicated to the artist in 10 years, a catalogue in French and English has been published to mark the exhibition. The book opens with an interview of the artist by Guy Boyer, journalist and editor of Connaissance des Arts magazine.