Jim Dine

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Jim Dine is best known for his contribution to modern art. He is an American based pop artist and a poet. His valuable input in art that furthered the development of Conceptual Art “Happenings” and Pop Art are two of his milestone works. It is often presumed that Dine is affiliated with Neo-Dada movement.

Now 80, Jim Dine was born on June 16, 1935, and grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. He received his high school education at Walnut Hills High School. Upon graduation, he went on to study at the University of Cincinnati. Subsequently, he began to take evening art classes at The Art Academy of Cincinnati. Some of the preeminent artists taught him, including Paul Chidlaw, an abstract painter and instructor. In 1957, Ohio University awarded him the Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree.

After graduating, he moved to New York in 1958. He then joined Allan Kaprow and Claes Oldenburg and organized an art intervention with their stage performance. With collaboration with the musician John Cage, the three of them pioneered “Happenings”. It was a chaotic performance art that was in direct opposition of solemn mood of the popular New York based expressionists. Their very first performance was The Smiling Worker that was staged in 1959.

Eventually, Dine gave up the musical side of his career to invest his time and energy in painting. He began to draw, incorporating Pop sensibility drawn from imagery and commercial objects. However, his stance remained unchanged regarding his affiliation with the movement. He prolifically produced artwork in 1962 which ended up elevating his position as an artist. His work was considered as good as his contemporaries such as, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Dowd, Phillip Hefferton and more. The seminal art exhibition was curated by Walter Hopps, entitled New Painting of Common Objects, at the Norton Simon Museum featured his work among these artists. That art exhibition was considered of monumental significance as it marked as being the first Pop Art American exhibition.

Those pop artists pioneered an artistic movement at the time of socio-political unrest in the country which rendered everyone shocked. In fact, the art movement fundamentally altered the landscape of modern art scene. 1960s is marked as the time when Dine began to experiment around with attachment of object to the canvass. Those objects are known to have autobiographical significance. His Job #1 painting feature the real objects such as paint brushes, cans, a piece of wood and a screwdriver on the canvass. It is one of the quintessential Pop Art examples.

Despite the fact that, such artwork brought him commercial success and critical acclaim, Dine remained underwhelmed by his work. An incident reports that Robert Fraser’s gallery in London displayed his work which was seized by the police in a raid on account of its indecency and Fraser was charged with fine. Subsequent to the incident, Dine moved to London and Fraser remained the representative of his works. Upon his return to America, he produced a series of drawings, in 1970s. His work was later displayed at The Pace Gallery. Furthermore, six of art pieces were bought by The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. He also served as a juror for the VMFA’s “The Next Juried Show”. Sarah. R. Lafferty wrote a book based on his works, titled Jim Dine: Drawings 1973 – 1987, while he was on an exhibition tour.

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