Cover image for Jim Dine : the alchemy of images
Jim Dine : the alchemy of images
Livingstone, Marco.
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Publication Information:
New York : Monacelli Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
352 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 32 cm
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N6537.D5 A4 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

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In fewer than four decades, Jim Dine has produced more than 3,500 works in an astonishing range of media -- above all in painting, sculpture, drawing, and printmaking, but with occasional excursions into performance, stage design, book design, poetry, and even music -- using a variety of approaches and imagery. Illustrated with over three hundred exceptional examples, this is the most comprehensive survey of this important artist's oeuvre. From Dine's early Happenings in the late 1950s to his most recent paintings, Marco Livingstone has documented and analyzed the evolution of both work and artist by exploring and discussing several themes in great detail. The discussion of these themes, ordered chronologically, presents a tightly woven account of the artist's development: his reaction to abstract expressionism and action painting of the late 1950s and early 1960s; the central role of objects used both as constituent elements of assemblages and sculptures and as a fund of images; the various art-making techniques and "hands-on" quality of his art; his profound vocabulary of images as well as his signature motifs; and his return to direct observation and life drawing, supplementing representations of the human body in the form of fragments, clothing, and tools. Integrated into Livingstone's text are short essays by Dine himself, giving insight into his personal history and his relation to visual material.

Author Notes

Marco Livingstone, who lives in London, has been an art writer and curator for over twenty years. He is known for his work on postwar painting, and has both curated exhibitions and written books on Jim Dine, David Hockney, R. B. Kitaj, Tom Wesselmann, and pop art. Among his other works are contributions to numerous catalogs and books, including those on Andy Warhol, Anish Kapoor, Roy Lichtenstein, and Antoni Tàpies.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Livingstone, a London-based postwar painting specialist, presents a generously illustrated and appealing overview of the life and work of Jim Dine, still popular four decades after his initial work bridging abstract expressionism and Pop art. The text has a loosely thematic structure that, like Dine's art, circles around repeatedly to revisit themes and motifs. This repetition, along with the use of many quotations from Dine and footnotes that rival the text itself in length, creates a fragmented reading experience that may not appeal to some readers. Earlier writings in the now extensive Dine literature are quoted frequently, while little is added that breaks new ground in understanding the artist or his work. The book does collect it all in one place, however. This volume will not be an essential acquisition for scholarly collections but can be enjoyed by both specialized and general readers.ÄKathryn Wekselman, Univ. of Cincinnati Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Dine (1935- ) is known as one of the seminal American artists of the pop era, although he prefers to think of himself, especially in his mature work, as "part of a tradition of loners." Evidence mined from this voluminous monograph--the most comprehensive study ever published on the artist--confirms that Dine's pieces are evocative, even romantic, not cool like the pop scene. Livingstone writes with all the authority of an astute critic as well as the friend of the artist, which he is. Readers can assess Dine's point of view: there are many high quality color plates and quotations from recorded interviews. There are eight chapters, each introduced by a paragraph or more of Dine's own commentary. There are works in all media: drawings, paintings, prints, pastels, sculpture, and photographs documenting "Happenings." Dine's reflections on his personal vocabulary and symbolism are direct and open. His famous tools stand guard for his protection; the robe represents him. This highly recommended, fine but lavish tome is perfect for specialized collections. Otherwise consult Jean B. Feinberg's Jim Dine (1995). Upper-division undergraduates and up. M. Hamel-Schwulst Towson University