The Morgan Receives Important Gift of Forty Drawings from Artist Jim Dine

Jim Dine. The Glyptotek Drawings. Charcoal on drafting paper. Promised gift of the artist to The Morgan Library & Museum

The Morgan Library & Museum announced it has received a promised gift from artist Jim Dine of forty works on paper known as The Glyptotek Drawings. The series was inspired by Greek and Roman sculpture, primarily from the Glyptothek Museum in Munich, and was created in 1987-88.

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.

“The Morgan is deeply grateful to Jim Dine for the generous gift of this series of drawings,” said William M. Griswold, director of the Morgan. “The work is extraordinary in its imaginative transformation of classical subjects and exhibits the vitality we have come to associate with Dine’s art. The Morgan is committed to building a strong collection of modern and contemporary drawings, and this work is an outstanding addition to it.”

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.

“I am delighted to be able to make this gift to the Morgan, an institution I have long admired,” Dine said. “In creating this work, I did not want to draw the ancient sculptures as dead objects, as stone. I wanted to put life into them and make them vigorous and physical. I have long had a great romance with the ancient world, and these works are an expression of that.”

The series has been exhibited at a number of museums, including the Glyptothek, the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and the Madison Art Center in Wisconsin.

Another drawing by Dine, Blind Owl (2000), is currently on view at the Morgan in the exhibition The Thaw Collection of Master Drawings: Acquisition Since 2002.

Published in: on April 9, 2009 at 1:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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