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The Prints of Jim Dine and Michael Rothenstein: Two Recent Gifts


19May-24September2000 Prints and Drawings Gallery Admission free

The long and productive careers of American artist  Jim Dine (b.1935) and the British artist Michael Rothenstein (1908-1993) both show a consistent commitment to Printmaking as a key feature of their artistic output. Although their work is in many ways quite different, both Dine and Rothenstein draw on aspects Of popular culture and consumerism while demonstrating the astonishing versatility of the printmaking medium. Both artists have also spent corresponding periods in the other's country - Dine lived in London during the late 1960s, while Rothenstein was a regular visiting lecturer and teacher at campus art colleges in the United States from the late 1960s.

Dine first came to prominence as a Pop artist in the early 1960s with the bathrobe and tools as his characteristic subjects, although from the 1970s figuration and life drawing have been the impetus behind much of his work. Rothenstein began making lithographs and monotypes in the late 1940s before taking up the woodcut and linocut, often in innovative combination. The Pop Art appropriation of American consumerism as a subject for art led Rothenstein during the 1960s and 70s to exploit the possibilities of screenprint, usually incorporating photography, while in the 1 980s he returned to making woodcuts, with a boldly neo-expressionistic emphasis.

This exhibition brings together a selection of prints by Dine which the artist recently presented to the Museum, including etchings from his two suites Eight sheets from an undefined novel from 1976 and 1979, as well as a monumental image of an owl printed from a cardboard plate made in 1994. A group of Rothenstein's prints from the 1960s through to the 1980s was donated by Mrs. Michael Rothenstein, the artist's widow, in 1996 and 1999. The two recent gifts are shown in the context of the Museum's holdings of Dine and Rothenstein which these donations have transformed.