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Jim Dine
Birth Date: 
Birth Place: 
Cincinnati, Ohio
A celebrated American painter, printmaker, draftsman, photographer and sculptor, Jim Dine has had a noteworthy career for over five decades. Born in Cincinnati in 1935, he wanted to be an artist as a boy. While in high school, Dine took night painting classes at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. A book by the scholar and collector Paul J. Sachs (1878-1965), Modern Prints and Drawings (1954) had a strong influence on the young man. He attended the University of Cincinnati for a year after graduating from high school, and then transferred to Ohio University. In 1957 Dine studied briefly at the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts but found it unsatisfactory and returned to Ohio University, where he studied printmaking. He graduated with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in 1957 and married Nancy Minto, a fellow student. After a year of graduate work at Ohio University, Dine and his wife moved to New York City, where they both taught in elementary schools. He began exhibiting at the Judson Gallery in Manhattan, along with Claes Oldenberg (b. 1929) and others. In 1960 Dine performed his first “Happening,” The Smiling Workman, at the Judson Gallery, followed by Car Crash, a Happening and a series of lithographs. He became associated with Pop artists in the early 1960s, such as Oldenberg and Allan Kaprow (1927-2006), and incorporated everyday objects into his collage-based paintings. Dine held his first solo exhibition in 1963 as his reputation grew. The Art Institute of Chicago awarded him the Norman Harris Silver Medal in 1964, the year during which he contributed a color lithograph to Walasse Ting’s (1929-2010) book 1¢ Life. Dine was involved with several colleges and universities during his career, beginning in 1965 when he was a guest lecturer at Yale University and artist in resident at Oberlin College. He became involved in theatrical design in 1966 when he designed sets and costumes for A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Actor’s Workshop in San Francisco. Drawn to Europe, Dine traveled to England in 1966 where he created a series of ten screen prints. After serving as a Visiting Critic at Cornell University in 1967, he moved with his wife and three small sons to London. Dine stopped painting for a time to concentrate on printmaking. The next year Dine provided prints for the first two of the many artists’ books he created and by then was seriously involved in writing poetry. An exhibition of his paintings was mounted in Paris in 1968 and the Whitney Museum of American Art held a retrospective exhibition of his works in 1970. The following year Dine and his family moved from London to Putney, Vermont. Dine continued to affiliate with academia, serving as a visiting artist at the University of South Florida in 1973 and Dartmouth College in 1975 and as artist in residence at Williams College 1976. Dine then began a long collaboration with the Parisian master printer Aldo Crommelynck (1931-2008). He reconnected with New York City in 1978 by taking a studio in the residential building that was then part of Carnegie Hall while continuing to live in Vermont. That year the Museum of Modern Art in New York displayed an exhibition of his etchings. Dine began working with Andrew Hoyem (b. 1935) of Arion Press in San Francisco in 1982, producing several artists’ books over the next several years. In 1985 he left Vermont and established residences and studios in New York City and Washington, CT. During the late 1980s Dine made drawings of ancient statues in the Glyptotek museum, Munich, featured in an exhibition in Munich in 1990. Dine is also an active sculptor; for example his sculpture Double Boston Venus was installed in Boston’s Bullfinch Triangle in 1987. In recent years Dine created color photographs printed on canvas in which he used digital techniques to create the effect of mixed media. Among his many awards, Dine was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1980) and the Akademie der Künste in Berlin (1998). His works have been shown in some 300 solo exhibitions around the world. In 2010 he received awards from the Cincinnati Museum of Art and the Tamarind Institute of the University of New Mexico. As of this writing Dine is still actively creating art. (TNB 1/2014). Selected bibliography: **Ackley, Clifford and Patrick Murphy. Jim Dine: Printmaker: Leaving My Tracks. Exhibition catalog. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 2012. **Brodie, Judith. Drawings of Jim Dine. Exhibition catalog. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 2004.