Jim Dine

Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati

It was high time for the return of the prodigal son. Cincinnati is celebrating its bicentennial anniversary, and the most prominent artist the city ever produced had never had a major solo show here. Jim Dine’s tall bronze Cincinnati Venus, 1988, was being installed in a public square, and he was willing to lend a number of drawings from his own collection that had never been exhibited before. Curator Sarah Rogers-Lafferty selected 78 mixed-media drawings from the most profoundly productive period of the artist’s career, in the medium that by his own admission is “the backbone” of all of his art. This is not so much a show about Dine as a show about drawing, and not so much drawing as image making, the process by which an artist translates his experience into tangible form.

This traveling exhibition begins with several pencil drawings featuring a row of tools—hammers, palette knives,

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