Jim Dine

  • The Heart Called Orchid Two Big Black Hearts
  • 2003/2007, bronze, 190,5 x 157,5 x 132,1 cm
  • 1985, bronze

Jim Dine belongs to the foremost pop-artists and has left his mark on 20th century art. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1935, Jim Dine studied at the University of Cincinnati and the Boston Museum School. In 1965 he was given a position as a visiting lecturer at Yale University, USA. Dine’s works have been shown internationally since 1959 in numerous solo and group shows and can be found in the most important museum collections, as well as in public spaces.

Jim Dine shows himself to be a true pop artist because he likes trivial, everyday objects similar to the pop movement’s other great protagonists, but he combines this in method and style with characteristics of abstract expressionism. Thus, his objects gain an additional emotional dimension and, as evident in recent works as well, interplay with the popular things and symbols (like the heart) embedded in an ongoing inner dialogue.Recurrence (1) is important to Dine’s practice and it holds the key to any semantic and iconographical analysis of his work.

For Jim Dine, however, the object is just a peg on which to hang his art. In his Venus de Milo, for instance, Dine’s starting point was not the “real” Venus de Milo in the Louvre in Paris, France, but rather the plaster statuette sold in the museum shop. The artist’s excursions into the realms of mythology by means of medially pre-crafted subjects, show, on the one hand, the validity of mythologies, and, on the other, the arbitrariness of these mythologies today, in a time considered by many to have relinquished the great narratives.


But Dine’s art is not just a terse, disparaging comment on modern society and the how it treats cultural heritage, rather it is a tale about the ways in which we keep mythologies alive and for what purpose. At the same time, it withdraws itself from a semantic context, pointing instead to the importance of aesthetic structure.

(1) See Walter A. Koch: Recurrence and a Three-modal Approach to Poetry, ‘s Gravenhage 1966; id.: Varia Semiotica, Hildesheim, New York 1971

Museum Exhibitions

Jim Dine: I never look away, June 24, 2016 - Oct. 2, 2016, Albertina Museum, Vienna, Austria

Jim Dine: About the Love of Printing. Graphick 1960-2015, Oct. 30, 2015 - Jan. 31, 2016, Museum Folkwang, Essen

Icons and concepts - From August Sander to Jim Dine, March 22, 2015 - May 25, 2015, Stiftung Schloss Neuhardenberg, Neuhardenberg

Jim Dine. My Tools: Fotografien aus dem Bestand der Stiftung, Sep. 19, 2013 - Feb. 8, 2015, SK Stiftung Kultur, Köln

La Beauté du geste: 50 ans de dons au Musée d\'art contemporain de Montréal, until Sep. 7, 2014, Musée d\'Art Contemporain de Montréal

Jim Dine: Prints, Nov. 23, 2012 - March 24, 2013, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA, USA

Strangers - Tra Informale e Pop dalle collezioni GAM, March 16, 2012 - June 10, 2012, Galleria Civica d´Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin

Pop and the Sixties, Jan. 19, 2012 - Sep. 2, 2012, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Wien

Once Upon a Time: Prints and Drawings that Tell Stories, Dec. 21, 2011 – June 24, 2012, The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, USA