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Jim Dine
Jim Dine Rimbaud, the Coffee Exporter poet portrait drawing in earth tone sepia




Jim Dine has expertly sketched the accomplished French poet and coffee trader Arthur Rimbaud. A vignette of dark brown surrounds his thin, fine features, which are defined with a flurry of lines and crosshatching. Rimbaud’s etched features, scruffy stubble and intense, faraway stare paint the picture of a worldly libertine. Dine has scrawled “RIMBAUD” on the poet’s forehead, suggesting the significance of a man known by a single name. Dine was a frequent collaborator at Petersburg Press, where he created the majority of his prints in the 1970s. Dine was drawn to experimentation, moving easily between printmaking methods, and often printing multiple variations from the same plate as he worked progressively on the image. It was the founder of Petersburg Press, Paul Cornwall-Jones, who suggested this technique to Dine, advising that he work back into etching plates, effacing some areas, adding marks in other areas, and cutting plates down. This technique would become a core practice for Dine, informing his practice to this day. Dine produced a series of seven etchings of Rimbaud from the same plate used in this work which is fifth in the series – progressively reducing the plate size and adding etched lines with each new image, culminating in drilling out the eyes to raise the white paper in relief. Paper 26 in. x 19.5 in. / 65.5 × 50 cm. Plate 5.5 x 3.5 in. / 14 x 9.2 cm. Etching from one copper plate printed in brown on off-white Hodgkinson Hand Made paper. Signed by the artist and numbered 7/25 lower center in pencil. Born 1854 in the rural town of Charleville, France, Arthur Rimbaud ran away to Paris as a teenager, where he befriended the renowned poet Paul Verlaine. Verlaine published Rimbaud’s poetry, and the two entered into a tumultuous relationship, culminating in Verlaine’s imprisonment for shooting Rimbaud in the hand. In 1873, Rimbaud abandoned his literary aspirations for an itinerant lifestyle, enlisting as a soldier in the Dutch Colonial Army only to abscond from Java to Cyprus, finding work as a translator and as a stone quarry supervisor. With intermittent trips home to his parent’s farm in Charleville, Rimbaud then took up residence in Yemen, where he worked at a coffee sorting house. He rose quickly in the ranks, and his talent for languages and shrewd merchant instincts led to a profitable contract exporting beans from Ethiopia. By Rimbaud’s untimely passing at 37, he knew more about coffee than perhaps any European alive. Catalogue Reference: Jim Dine: Prints 1970-1977. Williams College. Museum of Art, 1976, no. 156 illustrated. A copy of this print is in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; and Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland.


  • Creator
    Jim Dine (1935, American)
  • Creation Year
  • Dimensions
    Height: 26 in. (66.04 cm)Width: 19.5 in. (49.53 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
  • Gallery Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU121125524332

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About the Artist

Jim Dine

The Ohio-born artist Jim Dine brought his ever-shifting, multidisciplinary vision to New York in 1958, a time of transition in the American art world. Abstract Expressionism, which had dominated the scene for years, was on the wane, and a group of young artists, including Dine, Allan Kaprow, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, was eager to replace it with a movement that flipped the traditional rules of art making on their head.Beyond dissolving the boundaries between mediums and genres, attaching found objects and detritus to their canvases, these revolutionaries began staging performative “happenings” in public spaces, redefining the very definition of a work of art. As Pop art took form, Dine used objects with personal significance, like his paintbrushes, to transform his paintings into two-dimensional sculptures. He was included in the Norton Simon Museum’s 1962 “New Painting of Objects,” often considered the first true Pop art exhibition in America, but he remained a chameleon, constantly changing his style, material and technique.More than his contemporaries, Dine has forged new paths in drawing, scrawling words and names across the canvas to create graphic, abstract landscapes. He is obsessed by certain motifs — such as hearts and his own bathrobe — which recur in various forms throughout his oeuvre. He has occasionally worked in classical genres, such as portraiture, as exemplified by the 1980 aquatint Nancy Outside in July. He has also co-opted the bold, graphic vocabulary of advertising and commercials, as in the sleek 2010 composition Gay Laughter at the Wake.
About the Seller
4.9 / 5
Located in New York, NY
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