Jim Dine - A Serious Man
Twins, even when they look identical, are always distinguished and recognized as two different persons, even if sometimes confounded because of their perceived alikeness.
There is something that makes each twin unique, enabling us to distinguish them independently of their common physiognomy.
It is their respective intimate reality, also called personality in the sense of individual difference, a difference that sets apart each and every person from one another.
In the case of the self-portrait the representation of the personal physiognomy does reveal a great deal of information about the creator. Jim Dine observes himself in the mirror since the age of three, he draws himself as a painter as well, but the depicted figure does not refer to him, the portraits distance themselves from the model.
The practice of the self-portrait is very much alike a psychological exercise of representing this innermost personality that goes beyond the facial features. It tries to reproduce the inner life of the person, something characterizing the performer, and observable only to him alone, Albertina director Klaus Albrecht Schröder states in our Interview.
In De Pictura, Leon Battista Alberti states that Narcissus was the one who really invented painting, not because he discovered the perfect image of himself -capriciously falling in love with it- but rather because he recognized his own self as an image, he recognized the iconicity of his own self.
The succession of self-portraits by Jim Dine in this exhibition at Museum Albertina, from the 1950ies up to very recent self-portraits as an old man, is in a certain sense a personal narration of this discovery of painting.
Museum Albertina | www.albertina.at
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