A Los Angeles Gallery Is Celebrating 50 Years of Jim Dine’s Colorful Creations. See Images of the Lively Show Here
"Essential Jim Dine" is on view at Jonathan Novak Contemporary through the end of August.
For more than half a century, the artist Jim Dine has been imbuing well-known cultural motifs—ranging from Valentine’s hearts to plain-old bathrobes—with a sense of color, line, and humor that reinvigorate these familiar emblems and make them all his own.
Now, fans of the artist are in for a treat. “The Essential Jim Dine,” a lively exhibition at Jonathan Novak Contemporary Art, brings together a mix of the artist’s works made throughout the last 50 years of his career. Much of Dine’s signature imagery make an appearance—hearts, robes, power tools, and his Venus de Milos abound in this energetic show.
With a remarkable career that includes early shows alongside Claes Oldenburg at Judson Gallery in the late 1950s, Dine has cultivated a diverse oeuvre ranging from happenings to poetry, collage to sculpture. “Essential Jim Dine” captures many of these incarnations, starting with a large collage-painting on paper, Untitled (Gossip) (1970-71) up to a monumental, hand-painted, five-panel woodcut, Asleep with his Tools, Jim Dreams (2018). The works vacillate, sometimes teetering on the edge of abstraction, other times more directly referencing Pop art, and still other times seemingly most interested in process and draughtsmanship.
Dine’s most recent work in the show, the five-panel Asleep with his Tools, Jim Dreams (2018), proves that the artist is still in this process of exploring even now. Large-scale woodcut prints on paper wittily depict woodcutting tools and are depicted in a dreamscape reminiscent of Marc Chagall—and yet are more practical.
As the gallery puts it, “Dine is an essential and essentially American artist. Through his paintings, sculptures, collages, drawings, and prints, he praises basic hand-held tools and honest labor, while using his own hands to lay bare his deepest feelings.”
See images from “Essential Jim Dine” below.
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