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Jim Dine

Jim Dine (b. 1935)
The Glyptotek Drawings, 1987–88
Charcoal on Mylar
17 3/4 x 15 1/2 inches (45 x 39.4 cm)
Promised gift of the artist to The Morgan Library & Museum
Photograph courtesy of PaceWildenstein.
© 2009 Jim Dine / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


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This series of forty works on paper known as The Glyptotek Drawings* was inspired by Greek and Roman sculpture, primarily from the Glyptothek Museum in Munich.

The works combine a rich variety of media, including ink, charcoal, crayon, and paint, applied in broad gestures, resulting in a distinctive, expressive style. Occasionally the artist rubbed and spread the material with an eraser or with his fingers. The subjects include ancient busts, full-length sculptures, statuettes, fragments, and reliefs. Some, such as the Barberini Faun, the Boy with a Goose, and the Wounded Trojan from the Temple of Aphaia at Aegina, are well known.

In creating the Glyptotek series, Mr. Dine says he was drawn to the imperfections of the sculptures that reveal the passage of time: chipped noses, missing limbs, irregular surfaces. Most of the drawing subjects are barely contained within the edges of the sheets, a device that underscores their monumentality. The strong interplay of light and shadow and the sweeping strokes that convey the physical engagement of the artist vests these images with a romantic feeling, making them haunting modern visions of the ancient world.

Dine had planned to make intaglio prints from the drawings and used Mylar, tracing paper, and translucent drafting paper as support. This process allowed for the images to be photographically transferred to etching plates; the prints were published in a 1988 limited edition entitled Glyptotek, with Dine's translation of a poem by Sappho.

*[The artist prefers this spelling for his work.]

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.