Jim Dine (born June 16, 1935) is an American pop artist. He is sometimes considered to be a part of the Neo-Dada movement. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, attended the University of Cincinnati and received a BFA from Ohio University in 1957. He first earned respect in the art world with his Happenings. Pioneered with artists Claes Oldenburg and Allan Kaprow, in conjunction with musician John Cage, the "Happenings" were chaotic performance art that was a stark contrast with the more somber mood of the expressionists popular in the New York art world. The first of these was the 30 second The Smiling Worker performed in 1959.
Jim Dine has been represented by The Pace Gallery since 1976.
In 1962 Dine's work was included, along with Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Robert Dowd, Phillip Hefferton, Joe Goode, Edward Ruscha, and Wayne Thiebaud, in the historically important and ground-breaking New Painting of Common Objects, curated by Walter Hopps at the Norton Simon Museum. This exhibition is historically considered one of the first "Pop Art" exhibitions in America. These painters started a movement, in a time of social unrest, which shocked America and the Art world and changed modern Art forever, "Pop Art".
In the early 1960s Dine produced pop art with items from everyday life. These provided commercial as well as critical success, but left Dine unsatisfied. In September 1966 police raided an exhibition of his work displayed at Robert Fraser's gallery in London, England. Twenty of his works were seized and Fraser was charged under the Obscene Publications Act of 1959, Dine's work was found to be indecent but not obscene and Fraser was fined 20 guineas. The following year Dine moved to London and continued to be represented by Fraser, spending the next four years developing his art. Returning to the United States in 1971 he focused on several series of drawings. In the 1980s sculpture resumed a prominent place in his art. In the time since then there has been an apparent shift in the subject of his art from man-made objects to nature.
According to James Rado, co-author (with Gerome Ragni) of the rock musical Hair, it was a Dine piece entitled "Hair" which gave the name to the rock musical.
In 1984, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, exhibited his work as "Jim Dine: Five Themes," and in 1989, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts hosted "Jim Dine Drawings: 1973-1987".
In 2004, the National Gallery of Art, Washington organized the exhibition, "Drawings of Jim Dine." In the summer of 2007 he participated in the Chicago public art exhibition "Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet." He exhibits regularly with the Alan Cristea Gallery in London and has a show scheduled there in April 2010.
"For me, drawing is everything because it informs everything. It even informs my poetry. It's the way I begin everything."
On May 16, 2008, Jim Dine inaugurated a nine meter high bronze statue depicting a walking Pinocchio, named Walking to Boras. The statue is placed in the city of Boras, Sweden.
Dine previously worked on a commercial book, paintings, and sculptures that focused on Pinocchio. He feels that "the idea of a talking stick becoming a boy [is] like a metaphor for art, and it's the ultimate alchemical transformation.