8 hearts colored red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, grey, and rainbow on a silver background
Catalog #: 
3
Date: 
1970
Artist: 
Subject Matter: 
Hearts

Medium: Lithograph
Edition
Size: 24 x 28 1/2 in. (image)
Location: Inside N491 LC
Donor: Donated by E.F. Lindquist; conservation and exhibition generously supported by Professor Emeritus H. Dee and Myrene Hoover.

About the Artwork

Hearts appear repeatedly in Jim Dine's oeuvre. About the hearts, Dine has said, "The hearts were a prime object. Yes, the shape! It means a lot of things. It doesn't just mean love, it's anatomical, it's all kinds of things. It refers to all kinds of anatomy, too. But it also was a way for me to hang painting onto something."* In this print by Dine, the heart is not the only striking component of the composition. The color also immediately hits the viewer. The silver background provides an ethereal ground for the hearts to float above. The colors of the hearts hint at both order and chaos by organizing the first five hearts based on the colors of the rainbow and then moving to silver and the full spectrum of color in the final heart. This approach aligns with Dine's expressionistic bent in his work: "My color is always subjective. It has only been descriptive a few times, in the still lifes of the 1970s. I never really think about painting atmosphere, but what I do think about is sharpening my draftsmanship and about the power of objects."**

*Quoted in David Shapiro, Jim Dine: Painting What One Is (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1981), 204.
**Quoted in Shapiro, 112.

Bibliography

Dine, Jim. A Printmaker's Document. Göttingen, Germany: Steidl, 2013.

Feinberg, Jean E. Jim Dine. Modern Masters. New York: Abbeville Press, 1995.

Hennessy, Susie. "A Conversation with Jim Dine." Art Journal 39, 3 (Spring 1980): 168-175.

Shapiro, David. Jim Dine: Painting What One Is. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1981.

Keywords: 
Abstract, Print, Pop Art, Heart

More about Jim Dine

b. 1935
Nationality: 
American
Biography: 

Jim Dine was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Growing up, he spent a lot of time around objects of production his grandfather's hardware store and his father's plumbing and paint store. Working in both locations in his youth gave him an appreciation for not only the function of tools but also their aesthetic qualities. He said, "I was completely bored by the idea of selling, but in my boredom I found that daydreaming amongst objects of affection was very nice. I still think that white glaze on a bathroom sink or toilet is very moving. Commercial paint color charts were real jewel lists for me too."* These objects are one of the many recurring themes in Dine's art. Inanimate objects take on additional meanings in Dine's pictures. For example, he frequently depicts a robe as his own self-portrait. 

Since the 1970s, Dine has moved more toward the figure. On his farm in Vermont, he had a model who regularly came to sit for him. He also has closely studied his face and that of his wife, Nancy. Dine continues to push the medium of printmaking in new directions with his collaboration with various printers. Dine's career has spanned diverse artistic movements from happenings (Smiling Workman, 1960) to representational work (Five Paintbrushes, 1973) to expressionistic gestural paintings (Main Street #5, 2008) to sculpture (Tools + Fire, 2010).

*Jim Dine Artist's Statements in Jean E. Feinberg, Jim Dine, Modern Masters (New York), 101. It originally appeared in John Gordon, Jim Dine (New York: Peaeger Publishers; Whitney Museum of American Art, 1970), np.