The first European exhibition of Jim Dine's photographs will take place at Alan Cristea Gallery, 19 November to 23 December 1997.
Jim Dine has embraced every visual creative medium over the past forty years, but his experimentation with photography only developed in early 1996, and it came initially from his love of 'gravure' printmaking. The majority of the images in the current exhibition will thus be hybrids of photographs and gravure whilst the most recent images will be digital ink jet prints, composed directly on the computer.
The new interest in photography is not because Dine loves the camera or the computer terminal in the same way he does the burin or the chisel, but because he is, and always has been, an image maker. He has added these new media to his already vast repertoire in order to express his internal imagery with unprecedented directness and intensity. Nor are these familiar 'Dine' images. The birds, the skulls, the antique sculpture, the picture of himself and his wife Nancy, have been part of his private vocabulary for some time, but have remained relatively unknown outside his studio. Here he brings together these disparate elements in claustrophobic proximity, and lays bare the components of his dreams.
Speaking in a film about his work in 1994, Dine said:
"… the owl and the raven, they came from a dream. There is something about the owl and the raven that speaks obviously about death and also about immorality and also about wisdom, and also in the most creative sense of the picking up and scavenging for ideas. It's not what these things necessarily mean, because I wouldn't want to push such a literal message on to them. But that's how I've always gotten messages, somehow, through this trusting of these random thoughts and dreams and things that come to me as I'm doing anything…"