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Jim Dine Drawings to Be Exhibited

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March 7, 2006 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- While the work of celebrated contemporary artist Jim Dine spans several forms -- from painting and printmaking to sculpture and photography -- a new exhibition at Northwestern University’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art this spring will focus on the range and mastery of Dine’s draftsmanship.

Spanning the artist’s career, “Jim Dine, some drawings“ (April 7 to June 18, 2006, Main Gallery and Print, Drawing and Photography Study Center) will feature more than 80 works on paper that reflect his intensely personal worldview.

The exhibition will include selections of Dine’s noted drawings and collages of tools alongside powerful portrait, plant and figure studies in a variety of media. Also on display will be several of Dine’s famed drawings of classical antiquities done for Munich’s Glyptothek museum in response to its collection, as well as many large pastels that seem to exist somewhere between drawing and painting.

Working in New York City in the early 1960s, Dine became closely associated with the development of Pop Art because of his use of common images and objects, although the breadth of his work does not fit comfortably within that category. Dine’s expressive interpretation of everyday objects, as well as his depictions of hearts and classical sculpture (for example, the Venus de Milo) transforms these images into iconographic and autobiographical subjects.

While he produced drawings in the 1960s, some of which will be on display in the Block Museum’s spring 2006 exhibition, it was not until the following decade that Dine began to draw regularly. He has described how, following his return to the United States from London in the early 1970s, he moved to Putney, Vt., and “taught myself to draw.”

Drawing is an integral part of Dine’s life and work. “I feel fortunate to want to continue this journey of drawing,” he says in the catalogue accompanying the exhibition. “To harvest what I was born with…I still have the great urge to speak by drawing.”

The Block Museum will host a series of gallery talks highlighting various aspects of the exhibition. At 5 p.m. Thursday, May 11, senior curator Debora Wood will discuss Dine’s incorporation of everyday objects into his work; at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 25, education director Amy Brandolino will focus on Dine’s sculptural drawings; and at 5 p.m. Thursday, June 8, Wood and Brandolino will explore his portraits and self-portraits. The talks are free and open to the public.

Reservations are not required.

The “Jim Dine, some drawings” exhibition is organized by the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, and is sponsored by the Friends of Art Fund.

The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art is located at 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. For more information, call (847) 491-4000 or visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu.