Monday, June 16, 2008

Dylan’s new art show: #5 – London and Chemnitz catalogues compared

The London and Chemnitz catalogues for Bob Dylan – The Drawn Blank Exhibition are different.

The London catalogue, published last week by Halcyon Gallery, has reproductions of 300+ canvases – almost double the number in the Chemnitz book.

It has a couple of short essays, by Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate (Official National Poet in UK), a well-known Dylan aficionado, and by Andrew Graham-Dixon, the TV art critic and writer.

ISBN 978-0-9548455-8-2. Large format. £39.95 if you buy at the show; for other purchase options, please see the gallery’s web site.

The Chemnitz catalogue was published in 2007 in five different editions – museum and trade (ie retail) versions, both in a choice of English and German language texts, and a special edition.

The English-language trade edition reproduces 170 of the Drawn Blank canvases, and has text/essays by Ingrid Mossinger (gallery curator who organised the show), Diana Widmaier Picasso, Frank Zollner and Jens Rosteck. Published by Prestel. ISBN 978-3-7913-3943-6, widely on sale in London at £35-40. It also – by coincidence - runs to 288pp, in a (slightly smaller) large format.

So should you buy the Chemnitz or the London catalogue? Buy both - if money’s a bit tight, just sacrifice the beer for week or so. The two catalogues are very fine additions to any Dylan book collection; and they probably won’t be around for too long.

Gerry Smith