Looking at the Present: Recent Works by Jim Dine

Friday, Apr 28 – Jun 10, 2017 6 – 8 pm
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GRAY Warehouse:
2044 W. Carroll Ave.
Chicago, IL 60612

Exhibition on view: April 28-June 10, 2017
Opening reception: Friday, April 29, 6-8pm
Location: 2044 W. Carroll Ave, Chicago

Richard Gray Gallery is proud to announce two coordinated exhibitions of work by the acclaimed American artist Jim Dine. In Chicago, Looking at the Present examines Dine’s recent large-scale paintings. In New York, Primary Objects presents work from a formative period in Dine’s practice, focusing on his mixed material paintings and sculptures from 1961 through 1965.

A two volume exhibition catalogue will document both exhibitions and will feature contributions by Hamza Walker, LAXART Executive Director and former Director of Education and Associate Curator at the Renaissance Society, and Michael Rooks, Wieland Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the High Museum of Art.


Looking at the Present will inaugurate Richard Gray Gallery’s new converted warehouse space at 2044 West Carroll Avenue. The exhibition opens with a public reception for the artist on Friday, April 28 from 6-8pm.

The exhibition reveals the development of new directions in Dine’s painting practice. Shedding the iconography of hearts, robes, and the Venus de Milo that has animated his visual language for decades, Dine’s recent work depicts elusive imagery that emerges and recedes in masses of layered, gestural marks. Some of the works, such as Coming from the Darkness, I Hear Your Laugh! (2016), step away from figurative depiction altogether, whereas others, like The Funny Pleasures of War (2015-16), bring in fragments of the human body or iconographic symbols like the skull. The silhouette of the artist’s head is a recurring icon in the paintings, a device that Dine uses to merge self-portraiture with his study of surface, texture and paint itself.

In most of these works, Dine has built up a heavy impasto surface. By mixing sand into the acrylic paint, he has developed a process in which he is continuously revising his own work. In the studio, Dine moves between building up layers of gritty paint and blasting them away with power sanders and other tools. The exhibition is made up of large-scale and multi-panel canvases. The largest, Errant Rays and Seeds Escaping (2015-16) measures nearly nineteen feet in width and loosely depicts bodies coalescing and fragmenting amid vividly pigmented impasto.