PULLMAN, Wash. — The Museum of Art/Washington State University will present the works of internationally renowned artist Jim Dine and a variety of sculpture created by Dine and other artists at the Walla Walla Foundry between Aug. 20 and Oct. 17. 

Curated by Chris Bruce, museum director, and Keith Wells, museum curator, the indoor and outdoor exhibitions will comprise the most ambitious display of artworks in the history of WSU. A selection of works by Dine will be displayed in the museum gallery, while works by him and other internationally respected artists, all of whom work with the Walla Walla Foundry, also will be on display around the campus.

“This very special project brings together for the first time two of the most important art institutions in the Inland Northwest, the world renowned Walla Walla Foundry as maker and the WSU Museum of Art as presenter,” said WSU President V. Lane Rawlins.

The museum gallery exhibit will consist of an overview of Dine’s sculpture from 1983-2004. Noted for his vast accomplishments in performance art, painting, drawing, sculpture, and printmaking, Dine has been a major figure in American art since the early 1960’s. His relevance to American art was recently highlighted with a retrospective of his drawings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. 

The WSU exhibit will provide a unique opportunity to view another side of Dine’s creative achievements–sculpture.

“I always made sculpture in one form or another from the late fifties on,” Dine said. “Then it was called ‘assemblage’ and a lot of it was putting together things that I found on the street, partly because of financial considerations – I was a very young artist and had no money – but I also liked the garbage. I liked the objects that were lying in the gutter and vacant lots and they resonated for me in New York City of the late fifties.”

Bruce said “Dine had tried casting sculpture in various places in the world, but all had proved unsatisfactory in one way or another until 1983, when he met a young sculptor from Walla Walla, Washington, who was casting bronze for several Bay Area artists. This was the beginning of what has become an ongoing, two-decade long collaboration with Mark Anderson and the Walla Walla Foundry.”

Although Dine has several studios in Europe and the United States, he has only made sculpture at the Walla Walla Foundry since the mid-1980s.

The Walla Walla Foundry was established in 1980 by Mark Anderson in a small garage and was a nominal two-person facility. Now boasting a much larger state-of-the-art facility, the foundry is one of the most distinguished and productive art foundries in the country. The foundry’s achievements were recognized in 1996 when it was the recipient of the Governor’s Arts Award.

The Sculpture from the Walla Walla Foundry exhibit is an outdoor presentation that will consist of 11 large sculptures by nine well-known artists. These sculptures will be presented for public display on prominent sites across the WSU campus. Each of the artists in the exhibit use the Walla Walla Foundry as their primary means of casting bronze works. Included in the show are Terry Allen, Robert Arneson, Frank Boyden, John Buck, Deborah Butterfield, Jim Dine, Marilyn Lysohir, Tom Otterness, and Brad Rude.

The most significant and long-term benefit of the project could be the possible acquisition of new public sculpture on the WSU campus. The Campus Art Committee, in conjunction with the Washington State Arts Commission and Percent for the Art funds, will use this exhibit as an opportunity for considering the purchase of sculpture for permanent placement on campus.

“Jim Dine and Sculpture from the Walla Walla Foundry exhibition gives us the unique opportunity to show work by some of the most significant artists of our time as well as pay homage to the atelier that has produced some of the most important sculpture,” said Wells.

In order to extend the breadth of the project, the Museum of Art has published a full color trade book that celebrates the casting process and documents the remarkable history and achievements of this extraordinary enterprise. “Extending the Artists Hand: Contemporary Sculpture from the Walla Walla Foundry” will be available for purchase through the Museum of Art office or WSU Press. 

Funding for the exhibition is provided by the Allen Foundation for the Arts, Walla Walla Foundry, WSU, the Friends of The Museum of Art/WSU, The Museum of Art/WSU Directors Fund for Excellence and private donors.  Visit the WSU Museum of Art Web site at http://www.wsu.edu/artmuse/.