Jim Dine: A History of Gardening




An exhibition exploring botanical prints and drawings by Jim Dine (b. 1935), one of America’s most prolific artists.

Plants and flowers have long been an enduring theme in Dine’s work, holding a deep personal significance for the artist, who first tended tulips with his grandmother as a young boy. Over forty works dating from 1976 to the present day, in a wide variety of mediums, including a new body of hand-coloured editions, will be exhibited.

“Even when I wasn’t gardening, I was thinking about it and about plants. I’ve always thought about plants, and not just edible ones. I thought about flowers and trees. It goes back to when I was a boy in Ohio.” Dine has been interested in gardening ever since he worked with his grandmother, Rachel Cohen, to grow vegetables and flowers in their back garden in Ohio. Dine has honoured this memory in the titling of several works over the years. For a new edition, Rachel Cohen’s Flags Version IV, 2022, which will be unveiled for the first time, six joined sheets depict rows of bursting violets made using drypoint, electric tools, and hand painting in oil and charcoal.

Dine has gardened his entire life; his current home in Paris includes a small plot where he grows roses and potatoes. In the 1970s and 80s, when he lived in Vermont, Dine found inspiration in the state’s lush gardens and vegetation. For years he has worked from his studio in Walla Walla, Washington, where he draws wild grasses, weeds and thistles from life out in the fields.

Dine also draws inspiration from the history of botanical illustration. For many decades he has been fascinated with the subject, which was further enhanced by his friendship with the late botanical artist Rory McEwen (1932–82). Through McEwen, Dine discovered other great botanical illustrators, from Leonhart Fuchs (1501 – 1566) to Georg Dionysius Ehret (1708–70), whose detailed and precise depictions have influenced his work. Dine’s interest goes beyond the science of plants as he seeks to convey the drama of botany. He approaches each subject not as a scientific experiment but as a living and breathing model, finding pleasure and romance in the act of drawing fauna and flora.

Duration 11 November 2022 - 21 January 2023
Times Tuesday - Friday: 11am - 5.30pm Saturday: 11am - 2pm
Cost Free
Venue Cristea Roberts Gallery
Address 43 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5JG
Contact 2074391866 / info@alancristea.com / www.alancristea.com

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