JIM DINE: GÖTTINGEN - PARIS
March 12 - April 23, 2004
Richard Gray Gallery presents an exhibition of new work by Jim Dine, coinciding with a major retrospective of Dine's drawings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., ("The Drawings of Jim Dine", March 21 - August 1). The exhibition at Gray will highlight the artist's masterful recent works on paper.
An artist who resists categorizing, Dine once again bucks classification. Although Dine's name is inextricably linked with the Pop art movement, his work more correctly allies itself to that movement rather than occurring strictly within it. The artist himself describes his work as autobiographical, and while his current body of work may not be readily identifiable with the motifs that have come to be associated with Dine, i.e. "tools," "robes" and "hearts," there is a consistent sensitivity that permeates all of his work. Dine was described by the art historian Jim Gordon on the occasion of the artist's first retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1970 as, "a poet, . . . seeking for the means to evaluate the world outside." While his work took a dramatic shift during that decade toward drawing from life, the essence of Dine is no less present.
The current exhibition of new drawings illustrates how Dine has moved away from references to the self and turned to nature for inspiration. In these accomplished studies from nature, Dine depicts a flower garden, beautifully rendered in charcoal, pastel and watercolor. The colored petals and greenery leap from the page, offset by the dark sketches of charcoal around them. The honesty and simplicity inherent in his work and the economy of line and media display Dine's achievement as a draftsman of unequalled sensitivity. This simple subject takes on an importance and dignity when rendered in Dine's hand -- the familiar images evoke an emotional response; the result is works of indisputable power and beauty.