Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Nancy Outside in July

Between the years of 1978 and 1981, Jim Dine made a fantastic series of portrait etchings of his wife and muse, Nancy, with the assistance of the French printer, Aldo Crommelynck. There are 25 pictures in the entire series, which you can see in the book, Nancy Outside in July: Etchings by Jim Dine. Eight of these etchings are posted here today. I studied this book in the summer between my junior and senior years at MECA and then produced a series of self-portraits inspired by Dine's portraits of his wife (see next post).

Dine's etchings evolved into highly complex images that resulted from his wild experiments with the etching process. He took power tools to the plates - left the plates in acid forever - drew on the prints and sent them back through the press with more ink...

How fortunate he was to have the expert Printer Crommelynck by his side!

About sitting for her portrait, Nancy Dine writes:

Years ago when these portraits were begun, it was much easier for me to look at them. I could easily answer questions like: But why does he make your ears so red?" with a simple "Look at them, they really are." Now, however, twenty-five pictures later, I stand back and see a series of complicated, innovative portraits; pictures which consciously impress and dazzle me but, quite truthfully, terrify me at the same time.

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