Jim Dine (*1935) lives and works as an artist in Paris, Göttingen and Walla Walla (USA). His career is closely associated with Pop Art, Neo-Dada and Neo-Expressionism. His extensive and diverse oeuvre includes countless paintings, assemblages, sculptures, drawings, prints and over twelve volumes of poetry and has been shown in more than 300 solo exhibitions around the world.
He has been associated with the city of Göttingen for many years. In addition to the spatial installation “Poet Singing (The flowering Sheets)” already donated at the opening of the Kunsthaus, two further works by Dine are coming to the Kunstquartier as part of the partner project “printing futures” with documenta fifteen. In the Oschmannhaus (Düstere Str. 26) diagonally opposite the Kunsthaus, he will be presenting his work “Electrolyte in Blue” for the duration of the exhibition. In the garden of the house, on the occasion of his 87th birthday and in view of the exhibition opening, the foundation stone has now been laid for a new pavilion that will house his room installation “Seeing Thru the Stardust, the Heat on the Lawn (Claude)”. This is already being installed for “printing futures” and the pavilion is being built around it. The Oschmannhaus is also open to visitors during Kunsthaus opening hours.
Electrolyte in Blue
In Jim Dine’s bluntly honest words, Electrolyte in Blue is a “long hate poem” about “the evil in our small world today and those who have unleashed it”. The work tackles anti-Semitism, racism, climate change – and the heads of state Dine condemns in the strongest terms, primarily Donald Trump. Dine’s anger and disappointment are evident, but his gaze is not all gloom. He lays his words over luminous etchings, aquatints and lithographs of botanical subjects in vibrant colours. Lush foliage, flowers, fruits and vegetables celebrate nature and offer solace, despite the social, political and environmental concerns Dine expresses. Electrolyte in Blue is a dance of death and a celebration of life, full of darkness and light, full of compelling contradictions: testimony to Dine’s “dilemma of trying to remain human and alive in the present circumstances.”
Seeing Thru the Stardust, the Heat on the Lawn (Claude), 2017.
They are strange clay vessels, they look like crude vases or pipe cuttings or grotesquely bent misfires, and protruding from the top are tongs, hammers, scissors, corroded to the point of uselessness; the vessels are hand-lettered with words from which lines of poetry only slowly emerge, “my new bottle of ink is magic”, for example – one wants to believe this immediately, so variable is the shape of the letters and lines, so light-footed the poetry, which has strange resonances with the rawness of the vessels, the rough contours of the tools, similar to those between the angular bolt cutter and the fragile ceramics: Doesn’t something have to break when these collide? Perhaps it is writing, language, that balances these contradictions by putting into words: “Occupy the churches // and hand out the vaccine!”