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"Jim Dine: Paintings, Sculptures, drawings, Prints, Performance Works, Stage and Book Designs"
2005-03-26 until 2005-04-25
Leslie Sacks Fine Art
Los Angeles, CA, USA United States of America

Over four decades, Jim Dine has produced more than thirty-five hundred paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints, as well as performance works, stage and book designs. Dine is best known for his repetitive iconography, e.g., robes, hearts, tools and the Venus De Milo. These themes will be well represented in the Dine show at Leslie Sacks. Dine is essentially an expressionist with a classical bent. His style emphasizes draftsmanship yet underscores the ultimate importance of emotional content. In a large botanical monotype, Dine has combined lyrical brushwork reminiscent of Joan Mitchell (read Monet) with Pollock-like drips and an obsessive attention to the development of surface such that in some places he’s broken through the surface of the paper revealing the white inner pulp via scrafito. This work is a masterful mélange of painting, drawing and printmaking.

The prints in the Sacks show will include two large robes, Pale Self and Very Picante, and an equally imposing Venus, Oil of Gladness. The Venus De Milo and the robe are, like the heart, recurring iconographic themes for Dine. The Venus image came into his vocabulary through the presence of a plaster of Paris reproduction in his studio. As in its original, classical incarnation, the Venus is Dine’s muse: a symbol of fertility, i.e., archetypal maternal figure, and the embodiment of the romantic ideal. Dine’s Venus is the counterpart of his robes, which are clearly male icons, as communicated by both the implied stance (hands on hips and arms akimbo) and the proportions of the garment.

The robes are always absent a body within them. In Marco Livingstone’s monograph, Jim Dine: The Alchemy of Images, both Livingstone and Dine comment extensively on this symbolism. There is nothing simplistic about it, but to summarize it may be said that it proceeds from his conscious efforts to realize an identity, both personal and existential. Installed next to Pale Self is a nearly identical robe, Very Picante. Printed from the same plate, this companion piece, as implied by its title, has a hot palette, particularly in comparison to the pastel colors of Pale Self. Both works are brilliant examples of the use of color as a compositional element.

The hand colored lithographs of carpentry tools from Ten Winter Tools speak of the workman like way Dine goes about making images. This humility gives weight and authenticity to Dine’s art. His consistent concern with artistry flies in the face of the purely conceptual works which have long dominated critical attention, while honoring the value of ideas. Indeed, each of Dine’s iconographic images embodies a distinct concept which isn’t diluted but rather enriched by the expressionistic quality of his intensely aesthetic approach.

IMAGE
Venus and the Powdered Stone, 1993
Etching with hand coloring
49 x 33 inches, Folio Antique paper
Edition of 40 + 19 proofs
Numbered, signed and dated


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