Jim Dine | Wall texts

Images: Jim Dine biography, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome 2020, photos by Paolo Darra © Azienda Speciale Palaexpo



Introduction to the exhibition 

This anthological exhibition devoted to Jim Dine renews the attention of the Palazzo delle Esposizioni towards the great protagonists of contemporary visual culture. It is further justified both by Dine’s inexhaustible creative drive and by the consideration that in the early-1960s he was the American artist to whom Italian art looked with the keenest interest.
Having been among the first to conceive happenings together with a small group of his closest friends, Dine ranks most of all as a powerful innovator of the painting medium. From the beginning he combined real, everyday objects with painting, producing images that were both utterly new and profoundly revelatory.

A lover of Mediterranean culture, his voice is that which Elio Vittorini identified as educated and roaring in American literature.
He defies classification, never having identified himself as part of the schematism ordained by critics and the art market. For years he was considered one of the most prominent Pop artists, even though he was quick to distance himself from that phenomenon and from its inevitable vulgarisation at the hands of mass culture. He has instead consistently proclaimed his individual stance, artfully forging it into a form of communication directed at others. One of the reasons his work is still so pertinent today is precisely this ability to make a strictly personal dimension relevant to the collective, an attitude which in the early years of his career made a significant contribution to shaping the awareness of a new form of subjectivity.

The exhibition is chronological in layout, with the intention of illustrating the sequences, surprises and obsessions which have characterised Dine’s artistic biography up until now, in the order that they manifested themselves. This historical-temporal sequence is also a means towards simplifying the presentation into a more orderly progression, enabling visitors to associate groups of works with the historical moment, memory or insight to which they belong.

Gallery 1 opens with the customary biographical note, accompanied by photographic images and more detailed information regarding the works on display. Your QR reader will enable you to access the text in full.

The very first works on show are a series of small heads, some of them self-portraits, which Dine completed in 1959 at barely twenty years of age. The importance of this subject for Dine is underlined by the self-portraits which reappear at the opposite side of the rotunda, in Gallery 6. The gallery continues with a focus on happenings, which thanks to a capillary research has enabled us to bring together for the first time all the available images from the archives of the photographers who mainly covered the New York avant-garde art scene in those years. The images run on a loop on screens, accompanied by a recording of Dine’s own voice recollecting his brief but seminal interlude as a performer.

Dine’s unconditional dedication to the painting medium emerges clearly in the following two galleries, with a generous selection of the fresh, incisive paintings he completed from 1960 to 1964 and which rank among the most iconic pieces from that time. Gallery 2 contains works with garments or work tools as their subjects, at times accompanied by the emblematic presence of their names in writing. Gallery 3 is hung with paintings featuring painter’s tools, together with other acclaimed masterpieces in which Dine experimented with a new spatiality when he conceived them as if they were walls of a
house. Between these two galleries there are five of the eight works which Dine presented at the notorious 1964 edition of the Venice Biennale.

The visit continues in the other galleries around the rotunda.

The central area of Gallery 4 is devoted to the sculptures on which the artist worked exclusively from 1965 to 1966, while the walls feature works from the second half of the 1960s which
point to the many strands of artistic research he pursued at this time and the inventions he matured during the frequent and happy periods spent in London.

Gallery 5 gathers together the works in which the element of the heart first appeared, prior to becoming a kind of heraldic signature of Dine’s production.

In Gallery 6 the works on display highlight Dine’s relationship with the Ancient, which he developed particularly from the second half of the 1970s. This bond with past cultures is rendered effectively by the presence in the same gallery of Dine’s recent self-portraits, which conclude the strictly chronological section of the show.

Although from different periods, the works contained in Gallery 7 are all highly colourful, offering an albeit partial testimony of the various attitudes and techniques the artist has explored incessantly over the course of his career. The walls present a selection of etchings with hearts as their subjects, dating from 1970 to 2018, illustrating both the stages of Dine’s painting and the dedication he has always reserved for the printing medium’s many techniques.

The show ends in Gallery 8 with a ‘crowd’ of recent (2004-2013) Pinocchio sculptures inspired by the Collodi children’s classic.
For Dine this figure is an embodiment of the ancient idea of the metamorphosis of inanimate matter into something living. The artist has conceived a truly immersive environment for his figures in this exhibition, breaking down the hierarchies which normally govern the relationship between creator, work and viewer, and underlining the idea of a subject which is both individual and collective.

The exhibition is curated by Daniela Lancioni, senior curator of the Azienda Speciale Palaexpo.

We would like to extend our warmest thanks to Jim Dine for his active involvement in the development of every stage of this project, as well as to the Centre Pompidou and the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris for their generous loan of the works recently donated to them by the artist.


Jim Dine biography

by Paola Bonani



Born June 16th in Cincinnati (Ohio) of Stanley Dine and Eunice Cohen. His paternal grandparents had emigrated to the United States from Lithuania, his maternal grandparents from Poland and Hungary.
Spends much of his childhood in his grandfather Morris Cohen’s hardware store in Cincinnati and in his father’s store in Covington.



At eleven years of age attends his first art course at the Cincinnati Museum of Art.



Mother dies.
In the autumn enrolls in the Walnut Hills high school of Cincinnati.



Goes to live with his maternal grandparents, begins painting in their basement.

“I was always in the basement, going through the old paint cans, using the old paint - and just stirring the old paint turned me on! […] I painted sometimes on the basement concrete wall, or I’d paint on a paint stirrer, or I’d make designs. I didn’t know the word ‘collage’ I’d make designs”.



Finishes school and begins attending painting courses at the Art Academy of Cincinnati under painter Paul Chidlaw.

Enrolls at the College of Applied Arts of the University of Cincinnati and is an assiduous visitor of the Cincinnati Museum of Art, where he develops a particular interest in the work of local artists such as Frank Duveneck and John H. Twachtman, as well as in the still-lifes and trompe-l’œils of William Harnett and
John F. Peto.



For a semester attends the courses of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, which he finds too academic. Switches to the College of Fine Arts of the University of Ohio in Athens where the Director, Frederick Leach, encourages him to study and copy old masters and to draw from life.
Becomes a regular reader of periodicals such as “Art News”, from which he remembers having learnt all about the avant-garde artistic movements of the early-Twentieth Century and of Abstract Expressionism through critical texts written by poets such as Frank O’Hara and John Ashbery.



In June marries his fellow university student Nancy Minto. Obtains his Bachelor of Fine Arts.



Moves with his wife to Patchogue (Long Island, New York) and begins teaching in a primary school.

Often travels into New York, up to three or four times a week. Meets Claes Oldenburg, a few years his senior, who becomes his best friend and mentor. They share an interest in Art Brut and the work of Jean Dubuffet, as well as in the writings of Louis-Ferdinand Céline and Antonin Artaud.

“[Claes Oldenburg] showed the way for me to fashion my nascent ambition using the detritus I found on the sidewalk. He shared his vast collection of urban aspirations, and I, who had come from the southern Ohio, took my Ph.D. in the art world with C.O. [Claes Oldenburg] as my adviser. […]. He shared his life in Chicago and Yale and then Chicago again, and also his experiences as a cub reporter on the Chicago Tribune. My teenage hardware life was hardly a preparation for talking with him. I listened and we drank a lot of beer and I longed than to be free enough to make the work I had in my head. […] All this friendship allowed the explosion in my dramatic brain to find a matrix for performances and poetry. I couldn’t have been me without Claes”.

Sees Lester Johnson, a second-generation Abstract Expressionism painter whose work he admires for its ability to combine the freedom of Action Painting with figuration.

Takes part along with Oldenburg and Marcus Ratliff in the conversion into an art gallery of the basement of the Judson Church in Washington Square, Greenwich Village. With the involvement of artists such as Tom Wesselmann, Allan Kaprow and Bob Whitman, the Judson Gallery would quickly become the centre for the most innovative artistic experimentation on the New York art scene of the time.


Judson Gallery

Between the late-1950s and the early-1960s the Judson Church in New York, a Baptist church on Washington Square at the centre of Greenwich Village, became the venue for some of the most innovative experimentations to take place on the New York art scene of the time. After the Judson Church had embraced all kinds of social activism, from anti-military protests to struggles for civil and women’s rights, many artists including Jim Dine, Claes Oldenburg, Marc Ratliff, Allan Kaprow and Tom Wesselmann found that they were utterly free to experiment with entirely new art forms in this place. Some of their earliest environments and performances were in fact held there, enabling them to test artistic practices which would instantly spread throughout the international art world.

In 1958 Jim Dine, together with Claes Oldenburg, was involved by a former high school colleague from Cincinnati, Marcus Ratliff, in a project to convert the basement of the church into a gallery with studios for artists. The Judson Church already provided student lodgings, with Ratliff a resident there, and over the years it had hosted, among others, Jack Kerouac, Paddy Chayevsky and Martin Luther King Jr. The idea of converting the basement floor of the church into a space open to the public had come from Bernard (Bud) Scott, who at the time was minister at the church and director of its student lodgings. Scott hoped it would help the church integrate with the cultural fabric of the surrounding area. The Judson Gallery opened in February 1959 with a show of works by Dine, Ratliff and Wesselmann. Dine exhibited there again in a collective of drawings and etchings in March, together with Red Grooms, Jay Milder, Tom Wesselmann, Max Spoerri and John Cohen.

In November he and Oldenburg held a double solo show there. On February 29th 1960 Dine staged his first ever happening at the Judson Gallery, The Smiling Workman. From 1961 onwards this gallery space was used more as a stage for experimental theatre and dance and much less for art shows. Having been one of its first sponsors, Dine lost interest in its activities and began working with Anita Reuben’s gallery. In 1960 Bud Scott
left his post at the church and was replaced by writer and composer Al Carmines, who founded the Judson Poets Theater.

From 1962 to 1964 the Judson Church became the main venue for the performances of the  Judson Dance Theater collective, hosting dancers such as Trisha Brown, Deborah Hay, Steve Paxton and Yvonne Rainer, artists such as Robert Morris, Robert Rauschenberg and Carolee Schneemann, directors such as Gene Friedman and Elaine Summers, along with many more figures who would radically revolutionise the contemporary dance and art scenes.

The Judson Memorial Church continues its collaboration with a number of artists today. All the documentation concerning the activities of this important space and the many artists who worked there is contained in a substantial archive donated in 2000 to the Fales Library of New York University, and which has been largely digitalised.



February, the Judson Gallery inaugurates with a show of Dine, Ratliff and Wesselmann. Dine and Oldenburg hold a double solo show there in November.


May 10th, birth of first son Jeremiah.


During a period spent in Kentucky over the summer begins work on a large series of drawings of faces, such as Head and Small Head. “And every day I drew faces. [..] The faces were generic faces. They were me”, he remembers.


Involved in two car accidents over that summer, experiences which are reflected in a number of drawings produced the same year such as Crash Pastel #1 and Crash Pastel #2.


Back in New York, in the autumn, begins his nocturnal forays through the city with Oldenburg, gathering up discarded objects and trash from the streets and using them in a number of assemblages.


October, takes part along with Sam Francis, Red Grooms, Dick Higgins, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Lucas Samaras, George Segal and Robert Whitman in the review 18 Happenings in 6 Parts, organised by Allan Kaprow at the Reuben Gallery, marking the start of a major season of experimental research combining art and action.

“When I came to New York, Allan Kaprow particularly impressed me – influence me. Kaprow expounded a point of view of art as a process of continuing change. […] maintained that if art wasn’t new, it wasn’t worth it. One had to keep going beyond, he said. Painting was dead; Jackson Pollock killed painting by dancing around the canvas and using rocks and other things from external sources – bits of glass and others things he could find – in his painting. Kaprow wrote an article in ‘Art News’ about that. It was called ‘The Legacy of Jackson Pollock’, I think. The legacy was us. The legacy was visual events – dancing around the canvas and using junk – but without the canvas. Those were happenings”.


December 2nd, takes part with Kaprow, Ratliff, Oldenburg and Johnson in the debate New Uses of the Human Image in Painting organised at the Judson Gallery. The event was an opportunity for an open reflection on the different uses of the human figure in contemporary art, in answer to the various declinations of Abstraction which had characterised artistic research in the immediate post-War years.



Using objects gathered up off the streets, creates the installation The House inside the Judson Gallery. Along with Oldenburg’s installation The Street, they were part of the review curated by them and entitled “Ray Gun”: “a three-month period of experimental constructions, derived from American popular art, street art and other informal sources”. Presents his first happening, The Smiling Workman, at the same event.


April, first solo show at Anita Reuben’s gallery.


Moves with his family soon after into an apartment at 44, East Third Street.


Presents three new happenings for the new venue of the Reuben Gallery, which had moved into a lower floor of the same Third Street apartment building where he was living: in June Vaudeville Collage, in November Car Crash (inspired by the previous year’s car accidents), in December A Shining Bed.


Participates in the New Media-New Forms in Painting and Sculpture show organised at the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York. The show features installations, assemblages and ‘junk art’, a term which had been coined by critic Lawrence Alloway for the Art of Assemblage show held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1961 and which indicated works made up of trash and discarded objects.


Reuben Gallery

The Reuben Gallery in New York, whose activity spanned a brief period from 1959 to 1961, was one of the most important spaces for post-War American avant-garde art and one of the birthplaces of happenings and
performance art. The gallery was opened in 1959 by a young Anita Rubin, shortly before she changed her name to Reuben to give it a more “fancier” ring.

The Reuben Gallery continued the legacy left by the Hansa Gallery, an artist cooperative which had closed that same year and which had been the first public space in Greenwich Village where Allan Kaprow had staged happenings such as Environment with Sound and Light, in March 1958.

Interested in Kaprow’s work, who she had met through her artist sister Renée E. Rubin, in the summer of 1959 Anita managed to rent a thirdfloor apartment at 61, Fourth Avenue. In October she hosted the historic review, curated by Kaprow, 18 Happenings in 6 Parts, which marked the gallery’s inauguration and in which Dine was also involved. Even though the piece required a specially constructed stage, visual elements, sounds, lighting, smells, readings of poems and music, it was something radically different from a theatre performance because it was entirely lacking any proper narrative, plot or pre-established dialogue.

The review was followed by shows of George Brecht, Lucas Samaras and Robert Whitman, as well as by the two group shows Below Zero and Painting.

Dine held his first solo show there in April 1960. Immediately after, acting on his suggestion, Anita Reuben moved the gallery to 44 East 3rd Street, into the same building where Dine had just moved with his family. For the new space Dine conceived three new happenings: Vaudeville Collage in June, Car Crash in November and A Shining Bed in December. Recognition of the importance of the activity of the Reuben Gallery was immediate, so much so that in 1965, just a few years after its closure, the Guggenheim Museum in New York dedicated the major show Eleven from the Reuben Gallery to the work of those artists who had collaborated with her.



January, presents the environment Rainbow Thoughts at the Judson Gallery, a room with the walls painted entirely in black industrial paint, with inside a small rainbow lit intermittently by a lightbulb hanging from the ceiling.

Participates in another pivotal event in the affirmation of performative and environmental artistic experimentation, the show Environments – Situations – Spaces at the Martha Jackson Gallery. Dine presented Spring Cabinet, alongside works by George Brecht (Iced Dice), Walter Gaudnek (Unlimited Dimensions), Allan Kaprow (The Yard), Claes Oldenberg (The Store) and Robert Whitman (Untitled).

In Spring Cabinet the public was meant to witness the creation of a painting as paint dripped from buckets suspended from the ceiling onto a canvas laid on the floor, all with ventilators running. Following concern that the action of the ventilators could stain the visitors with paint, Dine was obliged to drip the paint onto the canvas in advance.


Suspends his creation of happenings in protest at the progressive trivialisation he perceived these actions were undergoing as they grew in popularity. The following year he wrote to a friend:

“I found a growing acceptance of anything that was done and a general nervous eagerness for the audience to laugh at anything as it was such a fun avant-garde nite out for them. […]. My pieces were related to my paintings in concept so that the immediacy of them without any beginning or ending made everyone uncomfortable. […]. Being a painter and having this part of my world threatened by the need for more theatrics I withdrew back to paintings. Kaprow and Whitman went on watering it down to shock and untalented dance movements as they had no paintings to begin with”.


Devotes himself entirely to painting again, concentrating on some of the themes and subjects which, in different forms, were to appear constantly in his works: the body (Teeth, Hair and Blond Hair), garments (Shoe, Red Suspenders, Big Black Tie), work tools (Window with an Axe) and colour charts (A Universal Color Chart).

Many of these works included objects from everyday life attached to the canvas.


“I was of an age where my peers and I found nothing unusual in using everyday objects instead of paint. Some of these people glorified these objects as an exercise in giantism. I used them as metaphors and receptacles for my marginal thoughts and feelings”.


Work tools, utensils stocked in hardware stores like the ones he had so often played with in his grandfather’s and father’s shops as an adolescent, together with his wife’s clothes and other garments – all were attached to the painting canvas, often isolated or centrally, then covered in a thick layer of paint. The combination of undiluted colour and objects resulted in compositions which were almost entirely monochrome, with a strongly pictorial, three-dimensional quality.

In some works, as in Shoe for example, the object was represented at three different communicative levels: drawn, painted and named in writing. The apparent presence of the object, revealed to the viewer in three different ways – drawing, painting and writing – reveals the variety of possible approaches to reality and the semantic complexity of the different expressive forms in which it can be represented.

“Instead of feeling the redundancy of either the word or the image, one is faced with all the difference that exists between images and words, even when they are in apparent agreement. The image is there; the word describes it, but it is, after all, hard to hold the visual and verbal together. Whereas the Surrealist sought mystery, Dine calmly shows it to be unavoidable.” (L. Alloway 1961)


August 17th, birth of second son Matthew.


Sidney Janis

Sidney Janis (1896-1989) was one of the leading American post-War gallery owners.

Prior to opening his gallery, Janis was a businessman and art collector. After settling in the United States in 1926 and setting up a successful clothing business, he began making frequent trips to Europe with his wife, writer Harriet Grossman, who shared his passion for the visual arts. Paris was their preferred destination, where they visited museums and galleries and where Janis began acquiring masterpieces for his personal art collection. His first acquisition was an etching by Whistler, which was soon followed by works by Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Henri Rousseau, Giorgio De Chirico and Salvador Dalí.

In 1934 he was admitted to the advisory board of the Museum of Modern Art along with Alfred Barr and Meyer Shapiro, loaning around twenty of his own paintings to the museum including several Mondrians and Picassos. In 1939 Janis closed his business in order to devote himself entirely to his work in the art sector.

He soon decided to open his own gallery and in 1948 the Sidney Janis Gallery inaugurated at 15 East 57th Street in Manhattan, with a show devoted to Fernand Léger. This was followed by several shows featuring prominent figures from the early-Twentieth Century avant-garde movements such as Piet Mondrian (1949 and 1951), the Fauves (1950), Brancusi and Duchamp (1951), Henri Rousseau (1951) and Dada (1953).

Through the personal contacts he had developed as a collector, Janis was one of the first to take an interest in Abstract Expressionism. Among others, he represented Josef Albers, William Baziotes, Arshile Gorky, Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Guston and Franz Kline, as well as Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell and Mark Rothko. In 1952 he ran the first three solo shows of Jackson Pollock.

Ten years later, in 1962, he intercepted a radical change taking place in art and his gallery ran the historic show New Realists, in which Dine was also included. Conceived by Pierre Restany, the show gathered together the group of French Nouveaux Réalistes, the generation of American artists which would soon explode under the banner of Pop Art – including Dine, Robert Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein,Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, George Segal,  Wayne Thiebaud, Andy Warhol and Tom Wesselmann – and various emerging European artists such as Enrico Baj, Gianfranco Baruchello, Peter Blake, Öyvind Fahlström, Tano Festa, John Latham, Peter Phillips, Mario Schifano and Per Olof Ultvedt. The work of all these artists at that time was profoundly redefining the relation between art and everyday life. Once more, the Sidney Janis Gallery had confirmed its position as one of the cardinal points on the New York avant-garde art scene.

As an art dealer, Janis continued to pursue his interest in Cubism and Europe’s early-Twentieth Century avant-garde movements. Many of the cubist works which entered American collections in the 1950s and which today are in the public institutions of the United States passed through his gallery.

Following Janis’ death aged 93, the gallery continued its activity under his son Carroll and grandson David Janis.



Holds a solo show at the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York. The show was presented by Lawrence Alloway, the British critic who at the end of the 1950s had coined the term Pop Art and who had been the first to give a critical appraisal of the correlation between art and mass media.


Becomes friends with Jasper Johns. At his studio Johns and Robert Rauschenberg introduce him to gallery owner Ileana Sonnabend, with whom Dine would begin a collaboration lasting around fourteen years. 


Completes his first lithographs with printmaker and publisher Tatyana Grosman, a Russian living in the United States who in 1957 had launched U.L.A.E. (Universal Limited Art Editions) in New York.


October, in Milan Beatrice Monti’s Galleria dell’Ariete runs his first solo show in Italy. The catalogue was accompanied by a presentation from French poet and art critic Alain Jouffroy.


Jouffroy invites him to exhibit in Paris, at the Collages et Objets show organised in collaboration with Robert Lebel in October at the Galerie du Cercle. Alongside a historical section featuring works by Hans Arp, Joseph Cornell, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Francis Picabia, Pablo Picasso, Kurt Schwitters, the event included European artists linked to Nouveau Réalisme and American artists using objects and fragments of everyday life in their works. A similar comparison took place shortly after in New York at the Sidney Janis Gallery with the show New Realists, in which Dine also participated.



February, first solo show at the Sidney Janis Gallery, where he presents a group of works including Four Rooms, all related to the theme of domestic spaces. Exhibits for the first time works from the Bathroom series such as Small Shower #2 and Black Bathroom #2.

These works presented an entirely new spatiality. As well as combining the two-dimensionality of the canvas with the threedimensional presence of objects in a perpetual and startling dialogue between the representation of the object and its real presence, they were an explicit reference – also on account of their large scale – to household spaces: a study, a sitting room, a bathroom, spaces where everyday life runs its course.


Participates, together with Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist and Andy Warhol, in the show Six Painters and the Object organised in March by Lawrence Alloway at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Both show and catalogue were to be central in stimulating interest and increasing awareness of Pop Art.


Meets Alan R. Solomon, who invites him to participate in the show Black and White at the New York Jewish Museum. Holds his first solo show at the Galerie Ileana Sonnabend in Paris.


Returns to the palette theme, developing it further and completing, amongst other works, Two Palettes in Black with Stovepipe (The Dream). Together with spatulas, paintbrushes and cans of paints, the palettes and color charts used for choosing colours refer to the techniques of the painter’s craft and to the time regularly spent in paint stores and fine arts shops.


Ileana Sonnabend

Ileana Sonnabend (1914-2007) remains one of the most influential figures in second half of the Twentieth Century art world. She began her activity as a collector and gallery owner in the mid-1930s when she moved to Paris with her first husband, Leo Castelli. With financial backing from her father, a wealthy industrialist from Romania, Castelli opened his first gallery in Paris in 1939, in partnership with the art dealer René Drouin. When war broke out Ileana and her husband moved to the United States, where she began acquiring works by Arshile Gorky, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg for her personal collection. Leo organised shows of the same artists at the gallery he opened in New York in 1957, on 77th Street.

Following her divorce from Castelli, in 1962 Ileana moved back to Europe with her new husband, Michael Sonnabend, opening a gallery at number 37, Quai des Grands Augustins, on the banks of the Seine. The idea was to launch young American artists, who in those years were struggling to establish a name in France and Europe. The gallery inaugurated on November 15th 1962, with a show of Jasper Johns. In 1963 the gallery ran the first solo show in Paris devoted to the work of Jim Dine.

The Galerie Ileana Sonnabend quickly became one of the main focal points for the promotion of American art in Europe, collaborating with a number of exhibitions in public institutions. These, such as the 1963 exhibition The Popular Image held at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, proved crucial in generating a greater interest in American art – particularly Pop Art.

Over the years Ileana worked closely with major collectors such as Peter Ludwig, Roger Matthys or Count Panza di Biumo, as well as collaborating with critics, museum directors and gallery owners such as Harald Szeeman, Pontus Hulten and Gian Enzo Sperone. In Rome she had entered into lengthy discussions with Plinio De Martiis regarding a  possible collaboration with his gallery, La Tartaruga, which never came to fruition In 1966 the gallery moved into larger premises at number 12, Rue Mazarin, where it remained until its closure in 1980.

In the late-1960s Ileana decided to move back to the United States and in 1970 she opened the New York branch of the gallery at 420 West Broadway, Soho. The shows held there played a pivotal role in familiarising the American public with Europe’s Arte Povera and Conceptual Art, spearheaded by artists such as Giovanni Anselmo, Hanne Darboven, Eva Hesse, Jannis Kounellis, Gilberto Zorio and Giulio Paolini.

From the mid-1980s the gallery’s activity was historicised in a series of itinerant exhibitions, first in the United States and then in Europe. In 1989 the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome was one of the destinations of the major show La Collezione Sonnabend. Dalla Pop Art in poi.

Currently the Sonnabend Collection Foundation, run by Antonio Homem, continues to showcase the collection and legacy of these two central figures in the development of post-War art.



His work is exposed to a broad public for the first time in Italy, at the controversial edition of the Venice Biennale in which Pop Art exploded internationally. His production was immediately associated with Pop, despite his efforts to distance himself from the phenomenon which he considered to be too entwined with the dynamics of mass culture.

In an article published in November on “Art News” he explained how far removed he was from the world of advertising and media, indicating his main area of interest:

“I’m interested in personal images, in making paintings about my studio, my experience as a painter, about painting itself, about color charts, the palette, about elements of the realistic landscape – but used differently”.


For the Venice Biennale he presents Shoe (1961) at the Giardini sector and a further seven works at San Gregorio, the other venue of the American Pavilion: Shovel (1961), Green Shower (1962), Four Rooms (1962), White Bathroom (1962), Vise (1962), The Studio (Landscape Painting) (1963) and Hatchet with Two Palettes (State II) (1963).


Completes the work Stephen Hands Path, composed of a tree trunk taken from the street with the same name in East Hampton, where he had rented a house for the summer holidays with his family. The element of the bathrobe appears for the first time in this piece. A constant presence in his production from 1964 to 1965, bathrobes would reappear again in a number of works completed between 1974 and 1986, becoming a kind of selfportrait minus body and face like the garments hanging from  works he had produced the first half of the 1960s. In the autumn the first works with bathrobes as their subject painted earlier that year, such as Red Robe with Hatchet (SelfPortrait), are presented at his second solo show at the Sidney Janis Gallery.


“I had been seeing a psychiatrist for two, maybe two and a half years. I was focusing on myself, obviously, and I’d been trying to find a way to make a self-portrait besides just looking in the mirror. I thought there must be some other way to make a selfportrait. […]. I guess I found it, actually. One Sunday, in the New York Times Magazine, I saw this ad for bathrobes, and it was a bathrobe with nobody in it. It looked like me. It looked like my physique. So, I thought, If I use this, I really can make a miraculous self-portrait. And it was a found object, you could say”.


Biennale di Venezia 1964

In 1964 the United States entrusted the organisation of its participation in the Venice Biennale to Alan R. Solomon, the art historian and critic who at the time was director of the Jewish Museum in New York.

Solomon presented two groups of artists: Four Germinal Painters included Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland,
Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, while Four Younger Artists comprised works by John Chamberlain,
Claes Oldenburg, Jim Dine and Frank Stella. In Solomon’s view these artists were all representative of the
most advanced currents in American art, which after the prolonged hegemony of Abstract Expressionism had
taken two different paths – a new form of geometric abstraction on the one hand and a revived predilection for incorporating objects on the other.

The international jury of the Biennale awarded the prize for the best non-Italian artist to Robert Rauschenberg, a decision which was heavily contested. The choice of Rauschenberg, who had presented several of his combine paintings, was undeniably radical in view of the other prize-winners: a special mention for French master Roger Bissière, the sculpture prize to Hungarian Zoltán Kemény and best Italian artists to Andrea Cascella and Arnaldo Pomodoro. Furthermore, particularly in Italy and France, the award to Rauschenberg was perceived as a sign that the dominance of American over European art was irreversible.

The jury’s decision had been preceded by lengthy discussions concerning the fact that the American works were in two different locations, one in the American Pavilion in the Giardini section – which initially housed only the works of Louis and Noland – and the other in the palazzo of the former American Consulate on the Grand Canal, where all the other works were on show. When it transpired that any artist whose work was not displayed in the main section would not be eligible to receive a prize, many of the works from the consulate were moved under a hastily-built portico attached to the American Pavilion, to ensure that all the artists had at least one work in the main section. It is under this temporary structure that we see a photograph of Jim Dine’s work Shoe.

This edition of the Biennale was the first to generate an  exceptional level of interest in a cultural event on behalf of the non-specialised press, which generically reported the entire American presence as being Pop Art despite the fact that more informed critics had taken pains to distinguish between the various entries. Solomon himself, in his text for the catalogue, bemoaned the superficiality with which the term Pop Art was being used to include works that had nothing in common with this phenomenon, a case in point being Jim Dine’s.



March, birth of his third son Nicholas.


Is invited by Alan R. Solomon to take part in the performance review organised in May with Steve Paxton in a former television studio on the Upper West Side, between 81st Street and Broadway. Named First Theater Rally: New York, the event featured a performance by Dine as well as a dance programme from the Judson Dance Theater company and works by Robert Whitman and Claes Oldenburg. Dine presented Natural History (The Dreams), a performance structured around his own dreams which he had started writing a year earlier during his psychotherapy.


Suspends painting in order to devote himself to a series of sculptures in aluminium and bronze, all of which were cast in a foundry in Philadelphia with the help of Dave Bassinow. These included Red Axe, Another Ribbon Machine and Large Boot Lying Down. Obtained using the sandcasting technique, these pieces were then covered in a thick layer of paint. Sandcasting is generally used in industrial manufacturing and results in a rougher surface than is normally expected in fine art sculpture. Rather than use bronze, traditionally the preferred metal for casting artworks, Dine opted for aluminium, a material more widely employed for commonplace objects and their components.


June, holds his first solo show in Britain at the Robert Fraser Gallery in London. Holds a solo show in October at the Gian Enzo Sperone gallery in Turin and is invited in November to be artist in-residence at the Oberlin College in Ohio, where he holds his first solo show in a museum featuring the series of sculptures he
had completed that same year.



The element of the heart appears for the first time in his designs for the sets of a production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Directed by John Hancock, performances ran at the Marines Memorial Theater of San Francisco, played by the San Francisco Actors Workshop. In her text for the catalogue of the 1968 exhibition which the New York Museum of Modern Art devoted to Dine’s preparatory sketches for the production, Virginia Allen described it as “a bastard production (…) totally outside established tradition”.


Leaves the United States for the first time, to work in London for eight weeks with publisher Paul Cornwall Jones on the lithograph folder Tool Box.


During his stay in London meets and embarks on a collaboration with Scottish artist Edoardo Paolozzi, with whom he completes a series of collages which were presented in the autumn at the Robert Fraser Gallery. Some of the works on display, made from discarded materials gathered by Paolozzi, were phallic and consequently were removed by Scotland Yard from the show at the opening night on the grounds that they were obscene.


On returning from London, accepts the post of “visiting critic” at the College of Architecture of Cornell University in Ithaca.


November, a series of sculptures completed the previous year are gathered together in a solo show held at the Sidney Janis Gallery.


Illustrates the Ron Padgett translation of Guillaume Apollinaire’s The Poet Assassinated. Meets poets Robert Creeley and Kenneth Koch. Creeley inspires him to compose his own poetry.


The year ends with a solo show at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, presented by Alan R. Solomon and featuring his works on paper.


Solomon also presents an episode directed by Lane Slate of “U.S.A. Artists” for National Educational Television, in which Dine included accounts of his personal life as he spoke of his work and his relationship with the contemporary art panorama in America.



In Ithaca completes a series of large-scale sculptures including Green Hand and Straw Heart. “I want something that will crowd out a room. I want the shapes to be of an impossible size”, he wrote in the catalogue accompanying the show devoted to these pieces which ran at the Andrew Dickson White Museum of Art
in Ithaca, in April.


June, moves with his whole family to London into a house on Chester Square, Belgravia, loaned by an artist friend. They would remain there until 1971. Far from the pressures of the New York art scene, these years spent in London proved to be a particularly happy time for Dine.


Suspends painting for a period. Dedicates himself a lot to printmaking and to other projects, such as the stage adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Portrait of Dorian Gray, for which he worked with the director of the Royal Court Theatre Robert Kidd on designing the scenes and costumes.



1968, Petersburg Press publishes The Picture of Dorian Gray in a limited edition with twelve etchings by Dine.


That summer he is among the artists invited to participate in Documenta 4 in Kassel, the final edition curated by its founder Arnold Bode.


Begins working on Name Painting (1935-1963) #1, a canvas measuring around five metres onto which he writes in charcoal the names of all the people he had met between 1935 and 1963. Up until this moment the written word had mostly been featured in his works in an isolated form and related to the image. It now proliferated, covering the entire surface of the painting, transformed into a compositional element in its own right and also a visual trace of the passage of time – events and encounters which had made up his entire existence.


Completes a series of works used on the set of the 1968 Elio Petri film Un tranquillo posto di campagna. The film told the story of a tormented painter, Leonardo Ferri (Franco Nero) and his partner and manager Flavia (Vanessa Redgrave). Presented at the Berlin Film Festival the following year, the music was by Ennio Morricone and the Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza.


His first volume of poetry, Welcome Home Lovebirds, is published in the spring of 1969 by Trigram Press, the publishing house owned by the American-born poet Asa Benveniste, who had moved to London and who also supervised the volume’s editing.


In May 1969 the Robert Fraser Gallery in London runs the show Two Paintings, for which Dine presented the two works Name Painting (1935-1963) #1 and Name Painting #2. The second work had been completed the same year with the names of everyone he had ever met from 1965 to 1969.


Solo shows of his works are held at the Kunstverein in Munich, at the Kunsthalle in Nuremberg, at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels and at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York.


Publishes the artist’s book Photographs and Etchings, composed together with photographer friend Lee Friedlander.


From London entertains an intense correspondence with all his poet friends, Ron Padgett, Robert Creeley and Kenneth Koch. Encouraged by the poet Terry Berrigan, delivers his first ever public reading of his own poems at Art Lab, an experimental arts centre in Soho.



The year opens with a major retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, curated by John Gordon.

Shows in various galleries around the world, including the Galerie Kestner-Gesellschaft in Hannover, the Galerie Mikro in Berlin, the Reese Palley Gallery in San Francisco and again at the Galleria Sperone in Turin, in a group show together with Jasper Johns, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Arman and Frank Stella.

Participates with a new reading of his poems in the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church.


Publishes, together with poet friend Ron Padgett, The Adventures of Mr. And Mrs. Jim and Ron for London’s Cape Goliard Press.



Moves back to the United States with his family, settling in Putney, Vermont, where they will remain until 1985. In the garden studio of his new house Dine produces a new series of square format works, all the same size, including Putney Winter Heart n.9 (Poulenc), dedicated to French pianist and composer Francis Poulenc, and Putney Winter Heart (Crazy Leon). Incorporates the heart element in his paintings for the first time, following its use in previous designs for theatrical productions and in the largescale straw sculpture completed in Ithaca in 1967. The heart, which would become one of the most recognisable features of Dine’s work, is combined in these works with Dine’s recurrent themes such as work tools and garments.


Two major show of his works on paper run at the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen in Rotterdam and at the Kunsthalle in Düsseldorf and Berne. Solo shows in Rome, Washington, Cologne, Los Angeles, Venice, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Turin.



1972, participates in the 15th edition of the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto and in the Eighteenth National Print Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in New York.


1973, is among the artists invited to take part in Contemporanea, a major interdisciplinary and international review conceived by Achille Bonito Oliva and organised by Rome’s Incontri Internazionali d’Arte in the Villa Borghese parking lot.

Two solo shows at the Gian Enzo Sperone gallery in Turin, in November 1973 and in the spring of 1975.


Produces a number of etchings featuring work tools, one of the main subjects of his oeuvre, such as Fifty-two Drawings for Cy Twombly (1972) and Piranesi’s 24 Colored Marks (1974).

In this latest series, as well as in his main works from this period, utensils are no longer represented in single, isolated compositions but in composed and ordered sequences resembling a glossary or catalogue of objects. In A Thin Kindergarten Picture (1974), for example, twenty-two different tools are arranged regularly beneath a canvas measuring almost three metres in length.


1975, his printmaking activity benefits from his encounter with Aldo Crommelynck, the printmaker who had worked with artists such as Pablo Picasso, George Braque, Alberto Giacometti, Richard Hamilton, Jasper Johns and David Hockney. A strong friendship springs up between the two, as well as a professional collaboration which would endure for twenty years until Crommelynck’s death in 2008.



1976, a major retrospective opens in Italy, at the Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara.

1977, begins a collaboration with the Pace Gallery in New York. June 1978, the Museum of Modern Art in New York runs the show Jim Dine: Etchings, for which a general catalogue of his etchings from 1970 to 1977 is published, edited by Riva Castleman.


That same year paints the Venus de Milo for the first time in My Studio #1: The Vagaries of Painting: “These Are Sadder Pictures”. Taken from a small reproduction bought in a fine arts shop in Paris, this image will become another of his signature themes. Dine will create a headless version of it in wax to cast in bronze in different sizes, colours and compositions.

“I have this need to connect with the past in my way, and also I’m devoted to the ideal of woman, as a figure of enchantment. So that when I went to the art supply store wherever it was, I guess in Paris, and got a Venus de Milo figure, it was not with the idea of celebrating kitsch. I was not responding to it as an object of Pop Art, or popular culture. I saw it as a timeless classical figure which held the memory of its magnificence even in its reduced size. I bought it with the idea of drawing from it to have my own Glyptothek. I was painting still lifes in the late 1970s, and I would include it, the plaster cast. But then I knocked the head off it and made it mine”.


1979, executes one of his first drawings from life in a museum during a trip to Israel: a male torso from the collection of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

From the mid-1980s these figures taken from Antiquity appear with growing frequency in Dine’s work.


Meets Alan Cristea, director of the Waddington Galleries in London at the time, with whom he embarks on a long collaboration which continues today. Debuts at Alice Pauli in Lausanne, another gallery with which he would work for many years.


Towards the close of the decade begins working on a large number of portraits, mostly on paper, with friends, acquaintances and frequently his wife Nancy as models.

Produces prints and makes drawings of several still-life subjects in this period. In them, as in My Studio #2 (1978), he includes coffeepots, teapots, vases, bottles, fruit, vegetables, skulls and shells, building up a repertoire of everyday presences alongside vanitas and memento mori symbols as seen in Seventeenth Century still-lifes.



1980, nominated a member of the New York American Academy of Arts and Letters.


New shows in New York at the Pace Gallery and in London at Waddington’s. His etchings go on show at the British Museum in London and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.


Rents a studio in London, going there to work at least once a year.


January 1981, first show at the Richard Gray Gallery in Chicago, which would begin following his work and still represents him worldwide today.


David Shapiro publishes the first major monograph of his work for the Harry N. Abrams publishers of New York.


November, collector friend Gene Summers commissions a series of bas-reliefs for the interior decoration of the Bernard restaurant inside the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. In ten weeks, working with students from the Otis Art Institute of the Parsons School of Design, Dine completes sixty-two bas-reliefs. The experience brought him close to the sculpture medium again and he resumed sculpting precisely in those years.


1982, completes a series of xylographic prints inspired by the final Book of the New Testament and entitled The Apocalypse. The Revelation of Saint John the Divine, in collaboration with the chief of San Francisco’s Arion Press, Andrew Hoymen. Many of these wood prints feature Dine’s dearest most cherished subjects – hearts, gates, trees and skulls.


1983, through sculptor Manuel Neri comes into contact with Mark Anderson, owner of a foundry at Walla Walla in Washington State. Rents a studio near the foundry and begins work on a series of large-scale sculptures in bronze, such as Harvest (1984), in the traditional lost-wax casting technique.


1984, visits the Munich Glyptothek for the first time, completing a series of drawings from life of Greek and Roman Classical sculptures in the museum’s collection. Classical sculpture features with increasing frequency in his works, alongside the familiar work tools and sections of the human body. The combination of these different elements – everyday objects and historic artworks – was to become the most distinguishing trait of Dine’s work from the second half of the 1980s into the early-1990s.


A major show at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis entitled Jim Dine. Five Themes retraces his entire artistic career.


As a general process of historicising got underway regarding the main movements which had characterised the post-War art scene, from the mid-1980s Dine’s work was included in a number of exhibitions documenting the dynamic American art season at the turn of the 1950s and ‘60s. One such was Blam! The Explosion of Pop, Minimalism and Performance 1958-64, which ran at the Whitney Museum of American Art in the autumn of 1984.


1985, leaves the house in Putney and moves with his family back to New York.


1987, designs the scenes and costumes for the Houston Grand Opera production of Richard Strauss’ Salome.


Spends the winters of 1987 and 1988 in Venice, working on the series of drawings entitled The Glyptotek Drawings, taken from photographs, postcards and books with illustrations of Classical sculptures. With the aid of printmaker Kurt Zein the drawings were made into an etching portfolio.

Interested in these works, the director of the Munich Glyptothek Klaus Vierneisel invites Dine in 1989 to work inside the museum during closing hours. This collaboration resulted in seventeen large-scale drawings which together make up the In der Glyptothek series and which were exhibited in Munich the following year.


In 1988 the Galleria d’Arte Moderna Ca’ Pesaro in Venice held a major retrospective of his work curated by Attilio Codognato.


In 1989 installs the large bronze work Looking Toward the Avenue opposite the Calyon Building in New York. This was his first public commission, which would be followed in the early 2000s by the Venuses for Bordeaux and Cleveland and later by the large Pinocchio sculptures.



1990, the show Jim Dine Retrospective Exhibition tours Japan, beginning in October at the Isetan Museum of Art in Tokyo.


Begins composing poems again after a twenty-year lapse, encouraged by an encounter with photographer Diana Michener.


The new decade opens with a series of important solo shows: the Galerie Beaubourg in Paris (1991), the Pace Gallery in New York (1991, 1993), the Kukje Gallery in Seoul (1992), the Madison Art Center (1993), the Richard Gray Gallery in Chicago (1993), the Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain in Nice (1994) and the Alan Cristea Gallery in London (1995).


From 1993 to 1995 teaches at the Salzburg International Summer Academy for Fine Arts. 1995, artist-in-residence at the Hochshule der Kunste in Berlin.


The 1995 documentary film Jim Dine: Self-Portrait on the Walls, produced by Nancy Dine and Richard Stilwell, receives an Academy Award nomination in 1996 for best “Documentary (Short Subject)”.


Buys a stuffed owl and raven during a visit to Berlin, in memory of an episode in his childhood. The two animals will begin appearing in several of his works from this moment onwards, such as in the painting The Bride and the Groom (1996) and in the etching Red Passion (1996).


1996, the Museo Civico Revoltella in Trieste devotes a monograph show to his Venuses.


1997, creates his first photographs at Adamson Editions in Washington, a series of complex photographic collages combining old photographic shots, tools and objects from his studio, text and self-portraits. The series also includes certain new images he would begin using more frequently: birds, skeletons and, most importantly, the figure of Pinocchio, destined to become central in his future production. Pinocchio’s harrowing tale of betrayals, violent adventures and hardship transformed the character into another archetype for Dine’s personal experience.

“Well, Pinocchio was always with me since I was 6 years old and I saw the Disney film. I identified with this lying boy and the things there were going to happen. I did not quite get the story, but I know that in 1964, I was buying some tools at a store, and the owner had a little figure of Pinocchio that had been made or franchised by Disney in 1941 at the time of the film. It was hand painted, had a paper maché head, beautiful little clothes and articulated limbs. I took it home and I kept it on my shelf for 25 years. I did not do anything with it. I did not know what to do with it, but it was always with me”.


Pinocchio and other symbolical presences featured in photographs parade together also in his canvases from this period, as in Ape, Police, Doctor, Soldier, Me, from 1997.


In 1998 spends a period in Rome at the American Academy.

Meets and begins a collaboration with German publisher and printmaker Gerhard Steidl, who continues to print most of the books conceived by Dine.


1998, Marco Livingstone produces a major monograph entitled The Alchemy of Images for the Monacelli publishers in New York, retracing Dine’s entire career.

The decade ends with a major retrospective of his historic works in 1999, curated by Germano Celant and Clare Bell, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and entitled Walking Memory 1959-1969.



2000, artist-in-residence at the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, near Washington.


Begins a collaboration with the Galerie Templon in Paris.


The show Jim Dine in Italia, held at Siena’s Palazzo delle Papesse in October and curated by Martha Boyden, explores how Dine’s work had been received by Italian critics and collectors over the years.


2001, releases the artist’s book Pictures with his poet friend Robert Creeley, as well as a new volume of poems entitled Birds with the publisher Steidl.


Begins spending part of the year in Paris. Completes an enormous sculpture of a Venus de Milo for the open-air sculpture park at the Château Smith Haut Lafitte winery, near Bordeaux.


2002, the second reasoned catalogue of his etchings, edited by Elisabeth Carpenter, Jim Dine Prints 1985-2000. A Catalogue Raisonné, is published by the Minneapolis Institute of Fine Art in timing with the show of the same name also held that year.


The Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris devotes a major show to his photographic production entitled Photographs So Far.


Named Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres on June 25th 2003.


Between 2004 and 2006 creates his first larger-than-life Pinocchio sculptures in wood, all two-metres tall, standing in different poses and attitudes: Pinocchio (Blind Boy) and Pinocchio at Night, both created in 2004, or The Crying Sand of 2006.

“I have made Pinocchio in two ways: either with my assistant, Jason Treffry, or at the foundry with Dylan Farnum. With Jason, he roughs out the form and then I come in and add and cut and I do all the painting on the figure, and I finish it. At the foundry, they have a machine that points up – it enlarges from a small model, a maquette I have made. We will scan the maquette and Dylan will create a program for carving the log from the scan. I work with him on the angles and how the boy is – sitting, standing, walking, whatever I want. After the log has been cut, it requires the same amount of work afterwards as it does when Jason roughs it out with chainsaw, I still have to make it mine”.


Marries Diana Michener in 2005. Takes part with her and Vincent Katz in the review Segue Serie at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York.


Also in 2005, acquires an estate in Walla Walla which he transforms into his studio and printmaking workshop.


2006, produces an illustrated edition of the Carlo Collodi children’s classic Pinocchio.


In May 2008 the nine-metre tall Pinocchio sculpture Walking to Borås is installed in a public park of the Swedish city Borås.


October, completes the installation Poet Singing (The Flowering Sheets) in the Getty Villa in Los Angeles. The work is composed of a room with its walls covered in hand-written poems and the sculptural group Poet as Orpheus with Two Sirens, made up of a plaster self-portrait and two Ancient Greek statues of dancing muses (Statuette of a Dancer and Statuette of a Dancer Playing the Lyre).


Publishes Hot Dreams 52 Books with his publisher friend Steidl: a collection of 52 books, one for each week of the year. Using collage, painting, drawing, writing and photography, Dine combines fragments and images of his own life, making this a strongly autobiographic piece.



2011, donates the series of 40 Glyptotek Drawings to the Morgan Library & Museum in New York. The donation is celebrated by an exhibition, with the catalogue printed by Steidl.


The Pace Gallery runs a show of his latest canvases, which Dine terms Concrete Paintings. These pieces, such as Glade of Color (2011) or A Child in Winter Sings (2011-2012), are created at the Walla Walla studio using materials like sand and resin, spread across the canvas for a strongly textured effect. In vibrant colours, these new works lack any figurative elements and point to his profound attraction to Abstract Expressionism.


April 2012, installs a giant Pinocchio, Pinocchio (Emotional), in his hometown Cincinnati, in front of the Museum of Art.

In May another Pinocchio is installed  in the port of Busan, South Korea.


2013, Steidl publishes a biography containing Dine’s lifelong experience with printmaking entitled A Printmakers Document.


2014, presents the work A History of Communism at the Alan Cristea Gallery, a series of etchings made from lithographic plates found in a fine arts academy of the German Democratic Republic which he re-interprets by combining them with iconographic themes recurrent in his own work.


September 2015, delivers his first reading of the House of Words series at the Günter Grass Archive in Göttingen.


2016, the documentary film “Something I Would Like to Hear from My Voice”, containing an interview given to Olivier Brossard and produced by the Université Paris Est Marne-la-Vallée, is shot in Montrouge, near Paris, where he had set up a studio the previous year.


2017, obtains a public commission from the Chazen Museum of the University of Wisconsin to create a monumental mural composed by four panels featuring subjects taken from the Ancient Greek and Roman works in the museum’s collection, to be installed in the Brittingham Gallery. The mural is entitled What Was Then, Will Never Be Again.


In the spring of 2017 inaugurates the new Chicago premises of the Richard Gray Gallery with the solo show Looking at the Present: Recent Works by Jim Dine. The gallery’s New York venue simultaneously runs a show of historic pieces entitled Primary Objects.


Completes a long-term project at the Cité de la Céramique in Sèvres, France, where he creates a group of twelve vases decorated with the poem Seeing thru the Stardust, the Heat on theLawn (Claude).


In 2017 the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca invited him to present his recently completed Black Paintings in Rome. For the exhibition Dine delivered a reading of the House of Words series in the evocative surroundings of the church of Santi Martina e Luca.


In recent years his works have been featured in many group shows, partly due to the progressive historicising of art from the 1960s and ‘70s. Museums and galleries across the world have continued to feature his work in numerous solo shows.


Between 2017 and 2019 Dine donated a nucleus of thirty of his works from his own collection, dating from 1961 to 2016, to the Centre Pompidou in Paris. The gesture was celebrated in 2018 with the publication and exhibition Paris. Reconnaissance, presented first in Paris and then in Moscow, and in 2019 at the Centre Pompidou in Malaga.



Jim Dine held the first public reading of one of his poems in 1969 in London together with his poet friend Ted Berrigan, at Art Labs in Soho, an experimental arts centre founded by Jim Haynes, one of the leading exponents of the 1960s London underground scene.

Again with Berrigan he participated in the 1970 Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, New York.

After many years, in 2005 he delivered a new reading at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York, together with his wife, photographer Diana Michener, and his poet friend Vincent Katz.

In 2010, with bassist Marc Marder and drummer Daniel Humair, he read from his volume of poems Donkey in the Sea Before Us at Michael Wordworth’s. In 2012 there was a reading at the Dia Art Foundation in New York. In 2014 and 2015 he read Jewish Fate and My Letter to the Troops, with Marden on both occasions at the Double Change space in Paris. 2015 was also the year of the first reading of the series entitled House of Words.

Words and writing have always been present in Dine’s work. Words and short sentences were written on the walls of the first environment he created in 1959, The House, at the Judson Gallery in New York. Words and short sentences appeared also in his paintings from the early-1960s to indicate the body parts, garments or work tools which were either represented or taken from reality, as in Teeth (1960-1961), Shoe (1961), Flesh Chisel (1962), White Bathroom (1962). Towards the end of the 1960s words and writing took on an environmental dimension when Dine, who was living in London at the time, completed the two canvases measuring over four metres in length entitled Name Painting (1935-1963) #1 and Name Painting #2, onto which he wrote in charcoal the names of everyone he had met between 1935 and 1969.

Encouraged by his poet friend Robert Creeley, Dine had also started composing his own poetry at that time.

In his readings, Dine brings the written poetical word within the realm of performance and environment, particularly in the recent House of Words series. Here, he reads poetry to a musical accompaniment surrounded by large sheets of paper onto which he has written the texts he is reading.

The first House of Words series reading was delivered in 2015 at the Günter Grass Archive in Göttingen, followed by a second in Paris at the Galerie Éof, accompanied by improvisations by Marc Marden.

In 2016 he devised new versions of House of Words for the Poetry Foundation in Chicago (March 9th), at the Antikenmuseum in Basel (June 13th, for the opening of the show Jim Dine: Muscle and Salt) and at Farewell Books in Austin (November 20th). In 2017 House of Words was performed in Rome, to the accompaniment of improvisations by Daniele Roccato on the double-bass and Fabrizio Ottaviucci on the piano, within the evocative surroundings of the Santi Martina e Luca church, for the show which the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca devoted to his work. Roccato and Ottaviucci then accompanied Dine when House of Words was presented as part of the “In Vivo” review which ran at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in April 2018.




 List of lenders


 Exhibition credits