Monday, May 19, 2008

Dylan’s art exhibition in London: a looming culture clash?

When the Drawn Blank Series of Dylan paintings had its debut in Chemnitz, Germany, The Dylan Daily raved about the exhibition and the accompanying coffee table hardback catalogue (see below).

As predicted, the exhibition is now set to open in a rather more important art centre, London, next month.

The Drawn Blank Series opens in The Halcyon Gallery, Mayfair, on 14 June. For readers unfamiliar with the city, Mayfair is London HQ for Brit old money and the global super-rich. It’s a village dedicated to exclusive designer fashion outlets, private art galleries, auction houses, toff drinking/gambling dens and the like. Joe Public makes only fleeting appearances on its streets.

The Halcyon Gallery is in business to sell art to collectors who’d think nothing of investing £100,000 on a picture. It doesn’t operate a public service to promote Dylan to Dylanistas. So I’ll be observing the looming culture clash with interest.

Keep watching The Dylan Daily for news and reviews of this very important exhibition – barring a surprise UK tour, this is the biggest event of 2008.

Gerry Smith



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.

Gerry Smith