A couple of weeks ago I was in Guildford and stumbled upon art by Ronnie Wood in a little gallery. It must have been my lucky day, as the same gallery had running in parallel an exhibition of the art of Bob Dylan.
Bob Dylan is one of the most influential figures in music in the last five decades.
I saw him play with Eric Clapton sometime in the 1970s.
Bob Dylan the singer-songwriter is well known, less well known Bob Dylan the artist.
A collection of his drawings and sketches created whilst on a world tour 1989-1992 were published in Drawn Blank (1994). The originals were lost. To recreate what was lost, the artwork in Drawn Blank was blown up to life size, and used to create a new set.
This new collection, a re-creation of the old collection, went on display at a museum exhibition in Germany in autumn 2007 where it drew record crowds, followed by the Halcyon Gallery in London in 2008.
Ingrid Mössinger – the curator of the Kunstsammlungen Museum, in Chemnitz, Germany – came across Drawn Blank during a visit to New York in 2006. Instantly excited about Dylan’s work, she contacted the artist’s team and was thrilled to learn that Bob Dylan would agree to have his art exhibited in public for the first time.
When Dylan had first drawn the works in this series he had intended to create paintings based upon them. Ingrid Mössinger’s proposed exhibition encouraged him to now do this using watercolour and gouache. “I was fascinated to learn of Ingrid’s interest in my work, and it gave me the impetus to realise the vision I had for these drawings many years ago,” Bob Dylan commented.
These paintings formed a collection entitled The Drawn Blank Series. Unlike the delicacy of the drawings in Drawn Blank the paintings are expressive and vibrant. Dylan paints several versions of the same image, using different colours and tones which result in a dynamic variety of impressions, feelings and emotions.
The Drawn Blank Series 2012 is a selection from this collection.
Bob Dylan has recently released a new album Tempest to mark 50 years and will tour North America.
I was in Guildford today talking with Ben in Ben’s Records. I mention the two art exhibitions, and that when I was there, I remarked they need to change the background music to Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. Ben kindly lent an album by each which I was happy to drop off.
Forest Gallery is a small art gallery at the top of Guildford High Street.