The exhibition, titled Bob Dylan: 60 Years of Creation, “celebrates the artistic career and deep cultural impact of this creative icon,” according to the gallery.
Alongside Dylan’s original paintings are silkscreen prints and metalwork sculptures as well as lyrics and drawings from the Mondo Scripto series – a selection of his most famous lyrics handwritten in pen on paper and accompanied by a pencil drawing. In these works, Dylan often changes his lyrics, sometimes just by adjusting a few lines, and in others, featuring completely rewritten verses.
The show opened to mark Dylan’s 80th birthday on May 24, 2021. It highlights his six-decade career in music, writing, and the visual arts. His most recent works, created during the 2020-2021 closures, have seen Dylan approach the American landscape “with a renewed and deep consideration for his people,” as the gallery puts it.
Works on the show include the unreleased Subway Cityscape (2020) triptych. Standing over 1.8 meters tall by 2.7 meters wide, the piece is a monumental tribute to New York City, where it gave birth to his musical career in the early 1960s.
Dylan has produced five major series of paintings since his first gallery show in 2007. The first of these, The Drawn Blank Series, was based on drawings he created on tour in the late 1980s. These are characterized by bright colors, loose brushstrokes and sometimes a surreal outlook.
In 2010, Dylan created the Brazil series, which was followed by the Asia series in 2011 and the New Orleans series in 2013. These all draw inspiration from Dylan’s life, reproduced from memorabilia and movies. and archival photographs, with the artist looking at a range of stylistic influences from European modernism and contemporary art.
Dylan’s sculptural works, meanwhile, are inspired by his childhood surrounded by industry in an area known as the “Iron Range”. His pieces use reclaimed portals, screens, furniture and wall hangings and give them a new function that preserves the rawness and history of their origins. Dylan’s works see doors designed to contain symbols, jokes, and hints.
Bob Dylan: 60 Years of Creation is located in the New Bond Street 144-146 space of the Halcyon Gallery and takes place at the same time as Bob Dylan: Editions, on display in the Halcyon 29 New Bond Street space. The shows run until the end of July 2021.