Multimedia artist Jim Dine was born as James Dine in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1935. Following high school, Dine attended evening classes at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where Abstract Expressionism was primarily taught at the time. Though he later expressly rejected the mode, his early training in the painterly style had a profound effect on his art and later considerations of technical skill. He ultimately graduated from Ohio University in 1957 with his BFA, and the following year, after marrying Nancy Minto, moved to New York City. Dine moved to New York in 1959 and first earned respect as an artist with his Happenings. The Happenings were theatrical performance events that took place in chaotic, improvised environments created by Dine and the other participating artists. Together with artists Claes Oldenburg and Allan Kaprow, he staged his first Happenings at the Judson Gallery in New York. Building the sets for the Happenings gave Dine a jump-start for creating his assemblages and developing the idea of using common objects in his work. His first solo show took place at the Reuben Gallery in 1960.
Although Dine’s subject matter has led to his being categorized as a Pop artist, there are significant differences. His work shows a greater emphasis on introspection and feeling, as well as an interest in painterly effects that he shares with the Abstract Expressionists. As the artist states, “Pop is concerned with exteriors. I’m concerned with interiors when I use objects, I see them as a vocabulary of feelings. I can spend a lot of time with objects, and they leave me as satisfied as a good meal. I don’t think Pop artists feel that way.”
Dine lived in London from 1967 to 1970, then moved to Putney, Vermont, where he currently resides. Over the years Dine has also created a large number of prints.