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books

Jim Dine Drawings

Constance W. Glenn, Jim Dine Drawings (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1985), 223 pages, 110 black and white illustrations, 52 color plates.

Some artists challenge criticism because they seem so much in need of interpretation; Jim Dine, however, does so because he seems to render interpretation superfluous. It is difficult to see past the facility, permeability to influence, and beauty of Dine’s work. Perhaps that’s why the artist gets luscious reproductions but a lightweight introduction in this book.

Too bad, because there is an interesting story buried here: that of a successful artist swerving from an intellectual, Duchampian esthetic to a retinal, Giacomettian one without having to subject himself to a wholesale stylistic and iconographic revolution. After all, we are used to thinking of an esthetic stance as something that gives at least a provisional unity to a body of work or set

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