Jim Dine (American, b. 1935) is best known for his images of bathrobes, tools, and hearts that became icons of Pop Art during the 1960s and 70s. Dine has been active as a creative printmaker throughout his career; for him, prints are artistically equal to and closely interact with his work in other media: painting, drawing, sculpture and photography.Today, at age 81, he continues to produce new works with great passion and boundless energy.
Intensely physical in execution, Dine’s prints celebrate the artist’s touch. He supplements his energetic, full-body strokes not only by hand coloring but also by collaging with nontraditional media. He may also subtract, scratching or even gouging his surfaces, sometimes with power tools. The results show his great joy in working with the thick paper and rich inks and colors, or in the artist’s words, his love for “leaving my tracks.” This collection of recent work displays the artist’s newfound passion for abstraction.
In his book,“A Printmaker’s Document,” Dine describes the moment of discovery in 2011 that led him to a new way of seeing familiar subjects.
“For a long time I had this proof of an orange robe and pink background around the studio and I’d been using it as a palette,” he wrote. “It had random areas of paint in various colors all over it. I’d wipe my brush on it or mix a color on it, drop it on the floor and the paint might smear. One day I looked at it, it became a finished work. I’d been trying for years to be freer with the icon and here nature took over and put color and paint ahead of the familiar image. The randomness of the colors led the way for me to begin a new kind of painting and printmaking.”