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The Artist & His Art

Jim Dine is an influential American artist who’s work was introduced to the art world in the early 1960’s.  Dine is best-known for at least two visual forms:  works that make use of various media, including actual personal objects, such as clothing, shoes and tools; and art that makes use of a series of repeating objects, such as hearts, palettes and robes.

While a great deal of Dine’s work is visually similar to Pop art, Dine explains that his use of pop culture images, unlike those used by Pop artists, is not about a celebration of the images and what they represent; Dine says he uses such images in an attempt to question the power of these well-known symbols. And those who study Jim Dine describe him as an artist who uses his work, at least in part, to try to understand how images create meaning for us.

While Dine does not consider his work Pop art, his use of popular images, bright colors, and graphic design style earned him a place among the group of influential artists thought to be responsible for the introduction of Pop art in America in the early 1960’s.

Dine is also well-known for his participation in the Happenings Art performances in New York in the early 1960’s. The Happenings artists made use of dance, theater, music, poetry and visual art, creating works that were designed to induce new ways of thinking about and creating art.

In the Classroom

The repetitive, simple images found in Dine’s work make for excellent inspiration in an art class setting. Teachers can explain how Dine chose personally meaningful images that, while simple, convey deeper meaning for the artist. Students can then be instructed to choose simple images that have meaning to them, and their artwork can explore these images with use of color and different design styles.


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