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20110327095438-5 20110327094900-artwork 20110327095120-jim-dine 36626_dine_v1 Dine001web Jdi001wp Tn_di602_ss_email Installation_2_lg Dine_inst_v25
'rak'rüm (noun);
the back room of an art gallery
where artists and art lovers hang
The garden of Eden , Jim DineJim Dine, The garden of Eden ,
2003, Stainless steel frame with painted bronze elements , h: 205.7 x w: 279.4 x d: 61 cm
© Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie
	Smaller Parrot at Home , Jim DineJim Dine, Smaller Parrot at Home ,
2008, Bronze, h: 91.2 x w: 38.1 x d: 33 cm
© Galerie Thomas Modern
Venus , Jim DineJim Dine, Venus , 2010, Bronze, h: 61 in
© Galerie de Bellefeuille
Pinocchio (Blind Boy), Jim DineJim Dine, Pinocchio (Blind Boy),
2004, enamel on wood, 103 x 67 x 31 1/2 in
Heart at the Opera, Jim DineJim Dine, Heart at the Opera,
1983, Lithography, 50" x 38"
Double Hearts VI, 1970, Jim DineJim Dine, Double Hearts VI, 1970,
Gouache on paper
Lady and a Shovel, Jim DineJim Dine, Lady and a Shovel,
1983, cast broze with green-brown patina edition of 9
© Courtesy of Leslie Sacks Fine Art and Artist
Poet Singing (The Flowering Sheets), Jim DineJim Dine, Poet Singing (The Flowering Sheets),
2008, Polystyrene, plaster, oak, enamel paint, charcoal, and audio
, Jim DineJim Dine, Mixed media
© Pace Wildenstein- 25th St.
Poet Singing (The Flowering Sheets): Detai, Jim DineJim Dine,
Poet Singing (The Flowering Sheets): Detai,
2008, Polystyrene, plaster, oak, enamel paint, charcoal, and audio
© Courtesy of the Artist and The J. Paul Getty Trust
Pale Self, Jim DineJim Dine, Pale Self,
1995, Cardboard relief and cardboard intaglio, 135.3 x 99.4 cm
© Alan Cristea Gallery
43 Degrees Celsius, Jim DineJim Dine, 43 Degrees Celsius,
2008, Copperplate drypoint, 55 x 37 1/8 inches
© Pace Prints
Night Fields, Day Fields, Jim DineJim Dine, Night Fields, Day Fields,
1999, waterborne enamel on bronze, 78 x 53 x 36"
© Pace Wildenstein- 22nd St.
Key West Picture, Jim DineJim Dine, Key West Picture,
1981 , oil, acrylic, charcoal, and pastel on canvas and paper, 44-1/2 x 88"
© Pace Wildenstein- 25th St.
Bill Clinton Robe (Carpenter 57), Jim DineJim Dine, Bill Clinton Robe (Carpenter 57),
© Courtesy of Joseph K. Levene Fine Art, Ltd.
Sun\'s Night Glow, Jim DineJim Dine, Sun's Night Glow,
2000, Lithograph, h: 40 x w: 55 in
© Courtesy of the Artist and Zane Bennett Contemporary Art
The New Man, Jim DineJim Dine, The New Man,
2009 , Charcoal, pastel and watercolor on paper , 47 3/4 x 39 1/4 inches
© Richard Gray Gallery
Hallelujah, Jim DineJim Dine, Hallelujah,
2007 , Acrylic, oil and charcoal on linen , 48 x 96 inches
© Courtesy of the Artist and John Berggruen Gallery
The Astra Tool 	, Jim DineJim Dine, The Astra Tool ,
1985 , color lithograph, h: 25.6 x w: 19.8 in / h: 65 x w: 50.3 cm
© Courtesy of the Artist and Zane Bennett Contemporary Art
Primary Ladies , Jim DineJim Dine, Primary Ladies ,
2008 , Painted bronze , 63" x 72" x 33" (160 x 182.9 x 83.8 cm)
Twin 6\' Hearts. Collection of Palm Springs Art Museum, gift of Donna and Cargill MacMillan, Jr., Jim DineJim Dine,
Twin 6' Hearts. Collection of Palm Springs Art Museum, gift of Donna and Cargill MacMillan, Jr.,
1999-2002, patinated and painted bronze
© 2009 Jim Dine / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
, Jim DineJim Dine
© Courtesy of the artist & Alan Cristea Gallery
, Jim DineJim Dine
, Jim DineJim Dine
, Jim DineJim Dine
, Jim DineJim Dine
The Kindergarten Robes, Jim DineJim Dine, The Kindergarten Robes,
1983, Woodcut, 54 x 70 inches
Olympic Robe, Jim DineJim Dine, Olympic Robe,
1988, Lithograph, 35 x 27 inches
Sultan, Bruskin, Dill and Katz installation at Meyerovich Gallery, Alex Katz, Donald Sultan, Guy Dill, Grisha BruskinAlex Katz, Donald Sultan, Guy Dill, Grisha Bruskin,
Sultan, Bruskin, Dill and Katz installation at Meyerovich Gallery

installation at Meyerovich Gallery, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Motherwell, Jim Dine, Donald Sultan, Guy DillHelen Frankenthaler, Robert Motherwell, Jim Dine, Donald Sultan, Guy Dill,
installation at Meyerovich Gallery
Colorful Venus and Neptune, Jim DineJim Dine, Colorful Venus and Neptune,
1992, Woodcut diptych, 67.3 x 37 inches, 62 x 42 inches
From 55 Portraits, Jim DineJim Dine, From 55 Portraits, 1995
© Courtesy of the artist & Tel-Aviv Museum of Art
Abyss of The Good Soldier (for Harry W.), Jim DineJim Dine,
Abyss of The Good Soldier (for Harry W.),
2010, acrylic, charcoal and sand on linen, 9'-1/8" x 9'-3/8"
© Jim Dine/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Watercolor Boys, Jim DineJim Dine, Watercolor Boys, 2007-2009
© Courtesy of the artist and Zane Bennett Contemporary Art
	Three Red Dancers , Jim DineJim Dine, Three Red Dancers ,
1989, Charcoal, oilstick and acrylic on paper, h: 62 x w: 39.5 in
© James Goodman Gallery
Tool Box, Jim DineJim Dine, Tool Box,
1966, Serigraph & collage,10 prints, Ed. 16/150, 35 x 20"
© Herbert Palmer Gallery
	Black & White Flowers I , Jim DineJim Dine, Black & White Flowers I ,
2003, Softground etching , h: 28.6 x w: 22.8 in
© Adamson Gallery/ Adamson Editions
The Brown Coat, Jim DineJim Dine, The Brown Coat,
1977, Etching, Aquatint, and Drypoint, 36x24
© KM Fine Arts
The French Watercolor Venus , Jim DineJim Dine, The French Watercolor Venus ,
1985, soft-ground etching in black overlaid with extensive hand coloring, 41 5/8 x 31 3/4 inches
© Courtesy of the Artist and Leslie Sacks Fine Art
Watercolor Boys, Jim DineJim Dine, Watercolor Boys,
2007-2009, lithograph, hand watercolored, 36 x 52 inches, ed. 6/10
© Courtesy of the artist and Zane Bennett Contemporary Art
Rainbow and Scissors, Jim DineJim Dine, Rainbow and Scissors,
1969, Lithograph, 40.4 x 27.6 inches
Running Hammers in a Landscape, Jim DineJim Dine, Running Hammers in a Landscape,
1987, Hand-colored etching, 33 x 55 inches
, Jim DineJim Dine
© Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Daniel Templon
, Jim DineJim Dine
, Jim DineJim Dine
, Jim DineJim Dine
, Jim DineJim Dine
, Jim DineJim Dine
, Jim DineJim Dine
, Jim DineJim Dine
, Jim DineJim Dine
New Mexican Aloe, Jim DineJim Dine, New Mexican Aloe,
2010, Two-color lithograph and etching, with hand-coloring , 44½ x 30¼ inches
A Child in Winter Sings, Jim DineJim Dine, A Child in Winter Sings,
2011 - 12
© Courtesy of the artist & Pace Gallery
A Child in Winter Sings, Jim DineJim Dine, A Child in Winter Sings,
© Courtesy of the artist & Pace Gallery
My Nights in Santa Monica, Jim DineJim Dine, My Nights in Santa Monica,
1986, direct gravure, soft-ground etching, dry point
© Courtesy of the artist & The Chazen Museum of Art
, Jim DineJim Dine
© Courtesy of the Artist and Alan Cristea Gallery- 34 Cork St
from \'Ten Winter Tools (Handcolored)\', Jim DineJim Dine,
from 'Ten Winter Tools (Handcolored)',
1973, lithograph and watercolor on Auvergne Narcisse paper, 26 x 20 inches edition of 10
© Courtesy of the Artist and Senior & Shopmaker Gallery
, Jim DineJim Dine
© Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Daniel Templon
, Jim DineJim Dine
© Courtesy of the Artist and Leslie Sacks Gallery
Jim Dine was born in 1935 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He studied at night at the Art Academy of Cincinnati during his senior year of high school and then attended the University of Cincinnati, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Ohio University, Athens, from which he received his BFA in 1957. Dine moved to New York in 1959 and soon became a pioneer of the Happenings movement togethe...[more]

Jim Dine: Telephone Call

Paris, Mar. 2011 - An interview by Nicholas James, recorded by mobile phone from Penarth, Wales with artist Jim Dine in his Paris studio. The conversation ranges from his early involvement with 'Happenings', staged in New York City at the turn of the '60s with Claes Oldenburg to his favourite subjects in his graphic work: hearts, tools, the bathrobe and extensive Pinocchio series. The exchange between interviewer and artist is terse and direct, conditioned by the fragile link of a long distance call. The transcript captures Dine's dry and acute observations, in a plain speaking account of his art.

Jim Dine, Dexter and Gus, 2002, woodcut and etching,151.1 x 99.0 cm Edition of 21; Courtesy Alan Cristea Gallery

Nicholas James:  Are you in Paris to open a show?

Jim Dine: No, I have a studio here and an apartment, and I'm working on a show.

NJ:The latest show in London (Alan Cristea Gallery, May) is prints of Hearts from New York

JD: Some are from New York, some are from Germany and some are from Delhi.

NJ: How did you start out; did you train as an artist?

JD: I was always an artist. I was born an artist. I couldn't do anything else.

NJ: Can you remember what your ambitions were at the outset, to get into the New York scene?

JD: No, no, you don't understand;  I was an artist before I had language, from two or three years of age. That's all I wanted to be, that's all I could do.

NJ: You said in an interview in 1975:  The ability to look, the ability to draw, that's all I can do.²

JD: I could actually do more than that now, but at that time that's about all I could do.

Jim Dine, Tie, 1961, watercolor on paper, 18 x 24 in.; Courtesy Vivian Horan Fine Art

NJ: I don't want to dwell on this too much, but how did you get into the Happenings at the turn of the '60s?

JD: I had a friend who lived in student housing in downtown New York, and he had a space. It was a student house in a church and he had a space there, and he wanted to reach out to the community. He said, 'do you want to do something?' and I said yes. I was a student at the time at the Cooper Union. He said, 'There's a great guy who sorts books in the Cooper Union library.' I said 'Who's that?' And he said 'Claes Oldenburg.' So Claes and I got together, drank a lot of beer, and talked and talked and talked. We talked about what we could do. He's about six years older than I am--I am seventy-five now; I think Claes is eighty-one, but then he was fully formed as an artist and fabulous. He could paint like Lovis Corinth; he'd been a newspaper reporter and I was just a sort of a hillbilly. I was just…I am an autodidact, but I hadn't done that yet. I was blown away by him, it was inspiring. I think we inspired each other actually.

NJ: Were these events at the Reuben Gallery?

JD: No, these were simultaneous events and a little before. The Reuben Gallery came to see us, and both Claes and I had shows at the Reuben Gallery.¹

NJ: As  a student I fed on photos of those events, which looked wild.

JD: Well they were very inspired, very, very crude. And the interpretations of them are inaccurate.

NJ: They were structured?

JD: They were structured but also were literate; not necessarily with language, but they were literally composed. They were not about the Gutai Group from Japan. They were not like Fluxus, not like the things that were being done in Paris by Jean-Jacques Lebel; those things where women took their clothes off, was not what we did. It was structured theatre.

NJ: So it was not just a happening? It was perhaps closer to Expressionist Theatre of the 1920s?

JD: I think it all came out of that; Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara, but it also came out of television, and it came out of Art of the Insane, out of children, and it came out of movies.

NJ: You were in that scene and you were a painter, but you did not ally yourself with the Pop Art movement, with the Pop Artists.

JD: No I couldn't. How could I? I was so removed from what they were. If you think of Pop Artists it's Warhol, Lichtenstein, Rosenquist, Wesselmann probably. But the rest of us were individuals. I mean Oldenburg because he did these things, yeah, but he was really himself. Me too, I was too.

NJ: Were you making editions of prints then?

JD: I started to print in, maybe 1960. So yes, about then.

Jim Dine, With Aldo Behind Me, 2008, etching, drypoint and mechanical abrasion, 133.4 x 111.1 cm  Edition of 15; Courtesy Alan Cristea Gallery

NJ: What was the first medium you got into, was it etching, lithography?

JD: It was lithography, but it was pretty simultaneous.

NJ: And the subject matter, the tool drawings, the common objects you used.

JD: It seemed to me as good a thing to make art about as anything. I was raised in a family of ironmongers and the tools were always around me. I never had the desire necessarily to be a craftsman. I was involved in their metaphorical quality, in their mythic quality, and the thing they carried with them of wanting the act of working.

NJ: You've talked before of common objects made by anonymous hands.²

JD: That's what I said.

NJ: And curiously described as metaphors for loss?

JD: I think that's great, yeah.

NJ: It's something you said but I don't know in what connection.

JD: I don't either but it's something I believe in. My work is about loss.

NJ: In what sense, the loss of friendship, of things passing?

JD: No, no, it's more metaphysical. Let's say the loss of innocence, the loss of childhood. The loss of loss.

NJ: I want to probe the flow of your invention, the flow of creation. Correct me if I misquote but you suggested sabotaging reality helps to trigger imagination and invention. Does that make sense to you?

JD: No. It might mean that I subverted reality for my own sense of invention.

NJ: Sabotage is not the right word then.

JD: Well it's dramatic, so it's okay, I like it. (laughter)

NJ: You made a giant statue, nine metres high, of Pinocchio walking towards the town of Borås. Pinocchio has really figured a lot in your work. The story of Pinocchio seems to have really impacted you, from childhood.

JD: It's a very, very important story to me. It's essentially the way art is made. It's the coming to consciousness. It's the idea of a talking stick becoming a boy; becoming human.

NJ: Pinocchio is a dark fable, isn't it?

JD: Very.

NJ: Of  the little boy who lies and gets lost in the world.

JD: But you see he's not the little boy yet, you see, he's the puppet who is trying to become a boy.

NJ: Is he the creation of Gepetto?

JD: Yes.

Jim Dine, Model for the Boräs Monument, 2008, acrylic on bronze, 25.8 x 22 x 13.8 in.; Courtesy Galerie de Bellefeuille

NJ: He's really spread into your art, I mean you've done lots of work around Pinocchio.

JD: You know for years and years and years, I was Pinocchio.

NJ: You really figured yourself into it.

JD: Yes.

NJ: Did you feel you were making him materially into art?

JD: Yes.

NJ: He's not just like a Disney character.

JD: Oh nothing to do with Disney; although the first time I ever heard of Pinocchio was at six years old, when I saw the movie.

NJ: Are you still working with Pinocchio?

JD: Oh yeah, right now as we speak.

NJ: The show How I Remember Now.

JD: No, This is How I Remember, Now, the subtitle is Jim Dine: Portraits.

NJ: Photographs, montages, shown at the Royal Library in Denmark? ³

JD: They're not photo-montages, they're straight photographs.

NJ: Some appear like blended images.

JD: No, they're all straight photographs, they've not been doctored by Photoshop, anything like that. They're cibachrome prints; that's just the way I photograph.

NJ: Okay, I didn't see the exhibition.  Are these photographs of friends, family, memories?

JD: All that.

NJ: It’s an album.

JD: No, it's my life. You know at my age it's a way to remember dead friends too.

NJ: Someone passes on, but they're still there, it's a strange area to get into.  I won't keep you too much longer, are you comfortable with this?

JD: Yeah it's okay, go on.

NJ: Fifty-Two Books at Pace Wildenstein. You had the books suspended in the gallery, but then you had the contents of the books spread right around the gallery.

JD: Correct.

NJ: What were you doing there?

JD: Gerhard Steidl, the publisher, allowed me to make fifty-two books, one for every week of the year. The exhibition was after the fact. The show included some of my sources, but really what lasts are the fifty-two books. They were each published in an edition of five hundred.

NJ: You had flowed large writing on the wall which was corrected by strokes of white gesso and rewritten.

JD: Oh yes. I took some of the content of the books. I am a poet also; there were lines from my poems. I've been informed most of my life by poetry, not by fiction for instance. I've had learning disabilities, so-called, and it's easier and more efficacious to read poetry. Reading poetry I became friends with poets in New York and they informed my life much more than most painters ever did. Really  particularly  because they accepted me as one of them. So all my life I read poems all the time. What I put on the wall was from the books of poetry.

NJ: They're very painterly, the writing is large, it's clear, it flows, it's got tremendous energy. You paint over, rewrite passages.

JD: But you know that's because of my dyslexia. When I'm writing I need to write big on the wall, so I can correct.  I need to see it and stand back and read it, like I was making a drawing or a painting.

NJ: The prints. You've got a fantastic body of work that you've made over five decades, tell me something about the way you approach graphic work and its relationship to drawing.

Jim Dine, 64 Blocks, 2009 , lithograph, 160.0 x 122.0 cm, Edition of 21;  Courtesy Alan Cristea Gallery

JD: It has every relationship to drawing; I couldn't make my prints if I wasn't a draughtsman.  All my life I've been a printer. I'm left-handed which may have something to do with it, I'm able to visualise backwards. There's a physical quality to printing that, rather than do anything else, I would keep on printing. I love to use my hand on wood blocks, I love to use it on litho stones or to carve into copper.

NJ: Lithographic stones are so beautiful.

JD: So beautiful.

NJ: The action of smoothing the surface of a litho stone is an inexplicable experience.

JD: The colour of it too.

NJ: You just work on stones?

JD: No, I use ball grain plates too but I prefer stones, and still keep them.

Jim Dine, Four Hearts in Silver, 2007, lithograph & woodcut, 63 x 48 in; Courtesy Hamilton-Selway Fine Art

NJ: The subjects you use, the bathrobe for instance, or the heart;  I came across a line where you said the heart was just a means to make a picture?

JD: No I didn't say that. I said it was something to hang the paint on and I feel the same way about a bathrobe. When it began I felt that was some kind of self portrait. I kept on because I can't paint about nothing, I don't want to. And I'm not interested in so-called abstraction, conceptual art, non-objective painting, minimalism; all fine for every other asshole in the world, but I'm not interested in it. So I'm always looking for things to paint; not about, but on.

NJ: And a few subjects keep turning up, with endless variations.

JD: Yes.

NJ: So what drives you; as an artist, as a person, each day and every day?

JD: Oh I work every day and I work because, as I said to you, this is what I was put here for. It's all I can do, and in fact it's almost all I care about doing. I really enjoy it. I love working with my hands.

Artslant would like to thank Jim Dine for his assistance in making this interview possible.

--Nicholas James


1. Happenings at Judson Memorial Church 1961

2. Inside New York’s Art World: Jim Dine, Barbara Diamondstein 1975

3. Jim Dine: This is how I remember, now.  13 February 2009 - 9 May 2009  The National Museum of Photography Denmark

Films/You Tube:

Tate Shots: Jim Dine NYC

Jim Dine: Hot Dreams at Pace Wildenstein

Charlie Rose: Jim Dine 1996

Jim Dine: Walking to Borås


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