Jim Dine: The Secret Drawings


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Jim Dine and Ruth Fine
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This book presents for the first time Jim Dine’s Secret Drawings, a series of 45 majestic, dynamic and dense drawings made between 2012 and 2018 in his studios in Walla Walla, Washington, and Paris. Ranging in size from 50 × 70 to 104 × 152 cm, these works are the product of Dine’s intense, restless processes of application, erasure and most importantly re-working, using materials as diverse as charcoal, China ink, pastel, fixative, oil enamel and acrylic paints, as well as collage. The textures of the papers—“what I had on the floor and lying around”—vary greatly, as do Dine’s tools, from sticks, brushes, knives, rotary grinders and the artists’ bare hands. The resulting drawings are raw, explosive, caught in the process of becoming, abstract yet with hints of familiar forms, perhaps a rectangle, oval, a slice or an aperture. For Dine himself, these drawings ultimately hold a deeper, more personal, secrecy: “84 years ago (I am 84 years old ) I emerged from a dark place. Then, it was thought of as a very secret place (I mean in the world). I have been depicting this landscape ever since. Hinting at it and confronting the subject matter directly. The thicket of marks and the anatomical reference is all here on the paper.”

Dine’s art seemingly flows effortlessly. His capacity to extend his visual ideas is astonishing, not only for someone in his ninth decade, but any age. Ruth Fine

Co-published with Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, University of the Arts, Philadelphia

Exhibition: Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, 17 April to 23 May 2020