Painting with the Carver
Painting with the Carver, is an online exhibition of new prints by Jim Dine (b. 1935), one of America’s most celebrated artists, which includes over twenty new, previously unseen hand-painted prints depicting Dine’s signature motifs of robes, tools and hearts. Made over the past 12 months with master printmakers in Austria and Germany, the online exhibition includes Dine’s largest prints to date and a folding screen made from five joining panels.
Dine explains, “After the last show at Cristea Roberts Gallery (in 2016), I wanted to make mainly bath robes, I don’t know why. It’s all about the sensuous pleasure of carving and I wanted to carve robes like this. I haven’t carved like this in a long, long time, this fully. All my life I’ve had these images with me: hearts, robes, tools, it’s an endless source of inspiration. I don’t consider it repetition; it’s part of my vocabulary. This is another take on it and I’m a different guy than I was 20 years ago, you know. I am now going into my 85th year and I wanted to make bath robes that I’ve been making since 1964. But they’re quite different, like I am.”
Dine’s bathrobes, one of his most expressive motifs and enduring vehicles for his explorations of line and colour, began as stand-ins for the artist, which Dine calls ‘autobiography through objects’. Dine has also spoken extensively about his profound relationship with hand tools, and remembers playing with pieces of pipe, hammers and screwdrivers as a young boy in his grandfather’s hardware store. Brushes, hammers, saws and pliers feature prominently in his work, both as the tools of his trade and as an autobiographical motif. Dine has frequently used power-tools to grind, scrape and carve his woodblocks and Painting with the Carver, features woodcuts made by Dine with a chainsaw and motorised chisel. Dine explains, “The adventure of making and the hope of being able to unleash my arsenal of techniques make for a unique creative moment. I rarely start a print with a specific end in mind. It’s the voyage of printing that’s gotten me here to start a new image.”
The Recovery of Stolen Goods and Light and Magnesium, 2019, are made with a combination of woodcut and digital printing, which have been hand-painted in gouache, charcoal, oil or enamel paint. Examples of phenomenal pieces of printmaking are displayed alongside a five-panel hand-painted woodcut mounted onto a folding screen.
Dine, who turns 85 years in June 2020, remains one of the most inventive and accomplished printmakers of our time; “I have made over a thousand prints so far and I am not done yet.” Dine continues to break new ground and produce prints with extraordinary vigour and remarkable energy.