In Jim Dine’s bluntly honest words, Electrolyte in Blue is a “long hate poem” about “the evil in our now small world and those who unleashed it,” exploring themes of anti-Semitism, racism, climate change, as well as the world leaders he condemns, strong among them Donald Trump. Dine’s fury and disappointment are clear, yet his vision is not merely bleak. He lays his words over luminous etchings, aquatints and lithographs of botanical themes in buoyant color. Luscious foliage, flowers, fruit and vegetables celebrate the natural world and offer solace against the social, political and environmental concerns which Dine voices. The book is based upon the original Electrolyte in Blue, a unique book object in an edition of one, typeset and printed by hand by Ruth Lingen, with whom Dine has collaborated for decades. All in all Electrolyte in Blue is a macabre and glorious document, dark and light, full of compelling contradictions, and with Dine’s “dilemma of trying to stay human and alive under the present circumstances” at its center.
This book is about me being 85 years old and doing exactly what I want to do. – Jim Dine