POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — Since the 1960s, artist Jim Dine has transformed the images of familiar, everyday objects into powerful evocations of a range of emotions, including loss, longing, joy and wonder. His fascination with such commonplace things as bathrobes, hand tools, and hearts has found ready expression in the medium of printmaking, to which he has been devoted since the beginning of his career.
Now a new exhibition is allowing museum goers in the New York region to survey the large and extraordinary body of prints that Dine has created since 1985, when he turned fifty. In these monumental works, the artist presents his favorite motifs with a fresh intensity, often instilling them with a lively sense of spiritual searching or historical weight. New motifs are also displayed in the exhibition, including owls and the puppet Pinocchio. Forty-six of these large-scale, complex works, with their virtuosic drawing, richly layered surfaces, and enigmatic moods, will be on view July 16 - September 11, 2005, at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College, in the exhibition Jim Dine Prints: 1985-2002.
The exhibition, which will be seen in the New York area only at Vassar, has been organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in collaboration with Pace Prints and Jim Dine, and it is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue raisonné of Dine prints from 1985 to 2000. The exhibition is generously supported at Vassar by The Smart Family Foundation, Inc.
"Printmaking has always allowed Dine to work through his ideas in a more private way than with paintings and sculpture," notes Patricia Phagan, the Philip and Lynn Straus Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center. "The prints in this exhibition show how, as he approached fifty, he turned to spiritual themes, which became intensified with his investigation of Jungian psychoanalysis. In their monumentality and painterly effects, these prints clearly stand apart from Dine's earlier work. Together, they offer a true survey of his personal interests and issues of the past twenty years."
Drawn from several private collections (including the artist's own), the exhibition presents works made in a dazzling range of print media: etchings, lithographs, woodcuts and a combination of techniques. Dine created the 1995 Very Picante, for example, by using a jigsaw to cut shapes from a large sheet of cardboard, then reassembling the pieces on the press and printing them. The resulting, boldly colored work is an image of a man's bathrobe, which at almost six feet tall serves as an enigmatic yet imposing stand-in for the human figure.
Only for its showing at Vassar, Jim Dine Prints: 1985-2002 will be accompanied by a selection of Dine works from the permanent collection of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center. These earlier works on paper will help to introduce Dine's motifs to museum goers who are not yet familiar with his art, while allowing others to appreciate the richness of his evolution over the years.
All of the works in the exhibition were made through close collaboration with professional print shops, including Pace Editions' Spring Street Workshop in New York, Atelier Crommelynck in Paris, Graphicstudio at the University of South Florida in Tampa, and the Werkstatt för Handgedruckte Original-Graphik in Vienna.
About the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, with collections of more than 15,000 works, charts the history of art from antiquity to the present. The 34,000 square foot Art Center, designed by Cesar Pelli and opened in 1993, features approximately 350 works at any given time in its Permanent Collection Galleries. Notable holdings include the Warburg Collection of Old Master prints, an important group of Hudson River School paintings, and a wide range of works by major European and American painters of the twentieth century. The Art Center is the successor to the Vassar College Art Gallery, which was begun in 1864, making Vassar the first college founded with a permanent art collection and gallery.
Admission to the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is free. The Art Center is open to the public Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., and Sunday. 1:00-5:00 p.m. Located at the entrance to the historic Vassar College campus, the Art Center can be reached within minutes from other Mid-Hudson cultural attractions, such as Dia:Beacon, the Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt national historic sites and homes, and the Vanderbilt mansion. The Art Center is wheelchair accessible. For more information, the public may call 845.437.5632 or visit fllac.vassar.edu.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.