Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hurry - Drawn Blank exhibition in Chemnitz closes soon

If you’re planning to catch The Drawn Blank Series, the outstanding exhibition of Dylan artwork at Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, you’d better hurry, because the show closes on 3 February.

It’s a fine collection. Dylan’s artwork – interiors, urban landscapes, men, women - grabs your attention and demands careful scrutiny. The paintings, in the Expressionist style, would be arresting even if they didn’t carry Dylan’s signature. As you’d expect from its artist, the work is observant, witty and worldly-wise. The surprise is that it’s also technically accomplished – it never fails to evoke an emotional response.

Dylan fans worldwide are indebted to curator Ingrid Mossinger. It’s remarkable that the curator of a city art gallery in a regional centre like Chemnitz should have persuaded Dylan to complete such a substantial body of art, and then made it accessible to a global audience via the striking catalogue, Bob Dylan: The Drawn Blank Series.

Danke schon Chemnitz! Danke schon Frau Mossinger!

The exhibition catalogue is a sumptuous stand-alone coffee table hardback book of 170 striking watercolour/gouache paintings that Dylan recently worked up from drawings originally sketched between 1989 and 1992.

It’s an unusual, beautiful, colourful artefact: aficionados need it - it’s one of the Dylan highlights of recent years, far more important than that new film that’s getting all the media attention.

Bob Dylan: The Drawn Blank Series is available from UK suppliers, but the Chemnitz gallery itself is the prime supplier of the catalogue – they are selling the book at 28 euros (plus 17 euros packing/delivery) via their website – excellent value. Specify if you want the English-language version (the book includes several essays about the exhibition).

Details: Bob Dylan - The Drawn Blank Series, edited by Ingrid Mossinger. Munich, Prestel, large format hardback, 29 Nov 2007, 288pp.

Gerry Smith