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Installation Views

Jim Dine
Jim Dine
Jim Dine
Jim Dine
Jim Dine

Press Release

May 2 - June 10, 2017
Opening Reception Tuesday, May 2, 6-8pm

Richard Gray Gallery is proud to announce two coordinated exhibitions of work by the acclaimed American artist Jim Dine. In Chicago, Looking at the Present examines Dine’s recent large-scale paintings. In New York, Primary Objects presents work from a formative period in Dine’s practice, focusing on his mixed material paintings and sculptures from 1961 through 1965.

The exhibition Primary Objects: Jim Dine in the 1960s at Richard Gray Gallery, New York examines Dine’s work from 1960 through 1965. It opens on Tuesday, May 2 with a public reception for the artist from 6 to 8 PM.

This exhibition focuses on a formative time in Jim Dine’s early career when his painting and drawing practice collided with everyday objects like crowbars, hammers, tuxedos, shower fixtures, lamps, and windows. Returning to the years immediately following his move to New York City in 1958, the exhibition illustrates the ways Dine incorporated household objects––often loaded with autobiographical import––into his paintings and sculptures as extensions of and metaphors for the human body.

Imbued with action, the works in the exhibition also have a presence beyond their frames. In some cases, daily objects seamlessly become part of the work’s narrative as with Four Rooms, a four panel work depicting domestic spaces. Here a curtain rod and showerhead applied to the canvas coalesce with the painted stream of water represented in one panel. In other works, objects are incorporated forcefully as with Window With An Axe (1961-62) or given purpose, as with The Chrome Lite. The Silverpoint Jacket (1964) where a standing lamp faces and illuminates the surface of the painting. In his interview with Hamza Walker in the exhibition catalogue, Dine describes these works as embodiments of a desire to “venerate these objects, common objects and how beautiful I felt they were.”

A two volume exhibition catalogue documents both exhibitions and features contributions by Hamza Walker, LAXART Executive Director and former Director of Education and Associate Curator at the Renaissance Society, and Michael Rooks, Wieland Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the High Museum of Art.


Jim Dine (b. 1935, Cincinnati, Ohio) arrived in New York City in 1958 and rose quickly to prominence for his role in creating the first “Happenings” with Claes Oldenburg, Robert Whitman, Lucas Samaras and others. Dine studied at the University of Cincinnati and the Boston Museum School, and he received his BFA from Ohio University, Athens.

Dine’s extensive practice in painting, drawing, sculpting and printmaking has been the subject of more than 300 solo exhibitions around the world, including ten major surveys and retrospectives since 1970. These include I Never Look Away (2016), a retrospective of Dine’s self-portraiture at the Albertina Museum, Vienna; Jim Dine (2011), the first retrospective of the artist’s sculpture at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids; Drawings of Jim Dine (2004), a major traveling survey organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Jim Dine: Walking Memory (1999), a career retrospective organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Jim Dine: Five Themes (1984-85), a traveling survey organized by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, which traveled to the Phoenix Art Museum, the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Akron Art Museum, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; and a 1970 mid-career retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

More than 70 international public collective hold Jim Dine’s work, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Gallery, London, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

These exhibitions mark Dine’s twelfth and thirteenth solo exhibitions with Richard Gray Gallery. Jim Dine has been exclusively represented by Richard Gray Gallery since 2016.

Featured Works

The Hammer Doorway, 1965, Cast aluminum
Total Modness (The Big Floppy Collar by Gerald McCann), 1965, Charcoal and objects on canvas
A Color Chart, 1963, Oil on canvas, charcoal text
Window with an Axe, 1961-62, Wood, painted glass and object
Four Rooms, 1962, Oil on canvas with metal, rubber and upholstered chair