Jim Dine

80th Anniversary exhibition

Happenings pioneer and one of the original Pop Art protagonists, known for experimenting with a range of techniques, American artist Jim Dine has chosen to celebrate his 80th birthday with a new installation in Paris: City of Glass. City of Glass features a set of sculptures created from bronze, glass, paint and hand tools. Each glass city is mounted on a work bench-type base, evoking both an artist’s studio and an alchemist’s cabinet of curiosities.

Dine, who is a poet as well as a painter and sculptor, explains: ‘Everything I’ve ever done, everything I continue to do, it all comes down to fire. I’ve spent 60 years feeding the flame, trying to make sure it doesn’t die down.’

This exuberant birthday exhibition — the result of two-and-a-half years’ work — celebrates the creative power of a unique artist.

Here, tools and process are as crucial as the finished work. Dine throws out the rulebook and pushes technique to its limit. He personally heated and twisted the tools used to create the glass cities, which include a number of rare found objects. Dine is using blown glass for the very first time, as a way to ‘sculpt with light’. A series of large drawings of tools echos the installations.

The artist

Born in 1935 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Jim Dine lives and works in Paris, Göttingen (Germany) and Walla Walla (USA). Pioneer of the happening and associated with the Pop Art movement, he has always followed a unique path. He experiments extensively with different techniques, working with wood, lithography, photography, metal, stone and paint. The tool and the creative process are just as important as the finished work. The artist explores the themes of the self, the body and memory, drawing on a personal iconography made up of hearts, veins, skulls, Pinocchio and tools.

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