Jim Dine


Jim Dine Biography

B. 1935 -


Jim Dine is an iconic American pop artist, whose work spans many mediums including painting, printmaking, sculpture, stage design, and performance art. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Dine grew up in what he described as "the beautiful landscape of the Midwest". During his senior year of high school, he studied art at night at the Cincinnati Art Academy and then later attended the University of Cincinnati as well as the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and finally Ohio University. He received his B.F.A. in Fine Arts in 1957 from Ohio University.

Dine moved to New York in 1959 and first earned respect as an artist with his Happenings. The Happenings were theatrical performance events that took place in chaotic, improvised environments created by Dine and the other participating artists. Together with artists Claes Oldenburg and Allan Kaprow, he staged his first Happenings at the Judson Gallery in New York. Building the sets for the Happenings gave Dine a jump-start for creating his assemblages and developing the idea of using common objects in his work. His first solo show took place at the Reuben Gallery in 1960.

In the early 1960s Dine created his art with items from everyday life. His personal possessions such as tools, rope, and various clothing items such as shoes, neckties, and robes, became the subjects of his canvases. Dine used repetition in his work to explore and redefine common images, often repeating the same imagery in different mediums. The use of these every day, domestic objects pushed Dine’s work into the Pop Art realm. From the early 1970s, Dine's oil paintings, prints and drawings became increasingly figurative with many of his portraits depicting his wife. His focus also shifted to still-life based work and images such as a heart, wrought-iron gate, and a gnarled tree became common in his work. In the early 1980s, Dine's attention turned to sculptural work, when he constructed sculptures based on Venus de Milo.

Dine, an extremely prolific artists, has been widely exhibited in solo shows in museums throughout Europe and the United States. In 1970, The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York organized a major retrospective of his work, and in 1978 the Museum of Modern Art in New York presented a retrospective of his etchings. Today Jim Dine lives in New York and in Vermont. Dine visits foundries and printshops all over the United States and Europe to work on projects and set up exhibitions.