San Francisco Art@Site Jim Dine Venus with Rope

Jim Dine


Venus with Rope

Convention Plaza
The Cleveland Venus is part of a body of sculptural work, begun in 1982, in which Dine has dramatically reinterpreted one of western culture’s most prominent portrayals of feminine beauty.
Turning his innovative eye to this archetypal symbol of artistic achievement, Dine made it a personal vehicle for selfexpression.
In all his depictions of the Venus de Milo, including the one in Cleveland, the head has been removed. However, all the other compositional components of the original have been retained: the left leg juts forward while the right one recedes; drapery covers the legs; the pivoted upper torso is exposed; and the arms remain lost to time. Dine’s deft handwork covers the massive figure’s entire surface. All of his carefully considered marks - whether small and subtle or broad and bold — enliven the form and offer willing receptacles for the endless patterns of light and shade caused by Cleveland’s changing climate.
For Dine, the removal of the head immediately reduced the sculpture’s specificity and eliminated the implied narrative carried by recognizable features. Indeed, the modified form of the Venus de Milo has been remarkably inspirational for the artist, allowing him to make new work by continuously reinventing this historic figure. The more generalized headless and armless Venus has become the ideal screen upon which he can project the expansive range of emotions and ideas derived from his lifelong search for meaning and insight into the human condition.
For this project, courthouse’s design architect, Michael McKinnell made an unusual decision to set aside space for an art commission that would be a prominent and integral aspect of the structure’s façade. He hoped to foster an artistic partnership that would expand and enhance his interpretation of classical architectural elements. For his part, Dine was attracted to the notion of close collaboration between sculptor and architect - a timehonored tradition - for the greater benefit of the building. The sculpture completes the structure’s ambitious composition; the two are united as symbols of grace and durability.
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. Since the late 1980s, the artist has sketched and studied Greek and Roman sculpture, and the form of the Venus de Milo has become one of his favorite themes, depicted in a variety of media.
These statues were inspired by the Venus de Milo, a masterpiece of the 2nd century BC. The Venus de Milo was sculpted by the artist Alexandros of Antioch as a depiction of the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite and is the most famous sculpture and, after the Mona Lisa, the most famous work of art in the world. It is currently on permanent display at the Louvre Museum in Paris.
The statue was discovered in 1820 on Milos island in Greece , when farmers dug up stones for their houses. Originally she was painted and adorned with accents, such as ear rings and a bracelet, intended to give her a more life like appearance. In her left hand she held an apple, the symbol of Milos, and her right arm was across her torso. The golden apple is also the symbol of her being 'the fairest of the goddesses.'
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 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.
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. The Pop Art movement fundamentally altered the nature of modern art.
Located at Washington State University in the city of Pullman, Washington, The Technicolor Heart (The Big One) is a 12 foot tall silicon bronze sculpture painted with oil enamel in the shape of a heart. It is one of 31 pieces of art on display on WSU's campus. This statue, inspired by his earliest memories of work, is painted blue and is covered in hand tools. After the Virginia Tech shooting (April 16, 2007), the artwork was surrounded by small white hearts that were placed by Washington State University students as a spontaneous memorial to that tragic event. The Technicolor Heart was acquired in 2004 for $391,440 by the Washington State Arts Commission, which is a state government agency established in 1961, for the State Art Collection.
While Dine is perhaps best known for his hearts, he’s also dedicated his career to other popular symbols, including tools, plants, robes, the Venus de Milo and Pinocchio.