Bob Dylan's visual art makes China debut


Category:  Photography & Art

Via:  buzz-of-the-orient  •  2 years ago  •  13 comments

By:   Zhng Kun, China Daily

Bob Dylan's visual art makes China debut

BUZZ NOTE:   Bob Dylan is not the only musician who also dabbles in visual arts.  Joni Mitchell's works are quite impressive, and there are many others who are quite multi-talented.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

Bob Dylan's visual art makes China debut

By Zhang Kun | China Daily | Updated: 2019-11-01

Brundage Lane, Burger House
, acrylic on canvas by Bob Dylan in 2017.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Spanning five decades of the legendary musician's career and seven series of works, a Shanghai retrospective marks one of his most comprehensive exhibitions, Zhang Kun reports.

An ongoing exhibition at the Modern Art Museum in Shanghai has provided fans of musician Bob Dylan with a glimpse into the thoughts of the American artist.

Titled   Retrospectrum , the exhibition features more than 250 oil paintings, sketches and sculptures by the singer, songwriter and poet, who won the Nobel Prize in literature in 2016. The showcase is running from Sept 28 to Jan 5, at the Modern Art Museum, which is located by the Huangpu River in Pudong district.

Spanning five decades of Dylan's career and seven series of works,   Retrospectrum   is among the artist's most comprehensive art exhibitions to date.

"This is the first retrospective exhibition of Bob Dylan's visual artworks that takes place in Shanghai and China," says Derek Yu, director of the museum.

"We are not a typical museum. Instead of focusing on the exhibits and individual art pieces, we prefer to tell the story of the art. We hope to bring audiences in so that they can be part of the exhibition."

During the showcase, visitors can step into the tavern in Greenwich Village, New York, as if attending Dylan's concert. They will also get to see lyrics handwritten by Dylan himself and touch some of the sculptures.

5dbb7f3ba310cf3e97a3cada.jpeg Endless Highway III , acrylic on canvas by Bob Dylan from 2015-16.[Photo provided to China Daily]

The exhibition "presents Dylan's journey in the visual arts and is an introduction to the artist's singular statue as a singer, songwriter, recording artist and concert performer reflected in iconic elements from his storied career," says Yu.

Among the exhibits are oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings, ink, pastel and charcoal drawings and ironwork sculptures.

Some of his earlier drawings were first published in 1973 in Writings and Drawings, a book that illustrated and compiled Dylan's lyrics. These drawings are shown alongside works from his recent series Mondo Scripto, in which Dylan handwrote and illustrated some of his most renowned lyrics. The exhibition also features his iconic Train Tracks paintings that first propelled Dylan's visual creations to public acclaim.

The industrial ironworks on exhibition are the most rarely seen in public. Created from repurposed objects, these sculptures tell about Dylan's roots in an industrial mining town in the United States.

Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman in Minnesota in 1941. Since his first appearance in the folk music scene at Greenwich Village in New York in the 1960s, the musician has sold more than 125 million records and amassed a body of work, including some of the greatest and most popular songs internationally. He has constantly been on tour since the 1980s, with the latest gig taking place in Europe in the summer. Dylan held his only tour to China in 2011, in Beijing and Shanghai.

5dbb7f3ba310cf3e97a3cadc.jpeg Manhattan Bridge, Downtown New York , acrylic on canvas by Dylan from 2015-17. The works are being displayed at the Modern Art Museum in Shanghai.[Photo provided to China Daily]

The Swedish Academy had awarded the Nobel Prize to Dylan "for having created new poetic expression within the great American song tradition", according to an official statement.

"Many people in China knew him only as a music and pop culture icon," said Sun Mengjin, a Shanghai-based cultural critic, at the opening of   Retrospectrum   on Sept 28.

"I was a little confused myself, but then I found that the lyrics in his more recent music creations are so colorful and rich in meaning."

Sun also said Dylan's visual art shares a lot in common with his lyrics and literary works, showing extreme sensitivity to the changes of the world and "reflecting his complicated spiritual world".

"Seeing many of my works years after I completed them is a fascinating experience," Dylan says in a media statement through the museum's publicity department.

"I don't really associate them with any particular time or place or state of mind, but view them as part of a long art... Shanghai is a city so rich in culture and history, and I couldn't be happier that Retrospectrum is being exhibited there."


jrDiscussion - desc
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    2 years ago

However, the art created by famous musicians does inherit at least some of their value due to the fame of the artists as musicians.

Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    2 years ago

Damn.  I forgot to put the word "Trump" in the title. I thought the word "China" would do the trick.

Professor Principal
2.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2    2 years ago

Buzz I like Bob Dylan's music a lot. I know most of his songs, particularly from the 60's and 70's. But I am not at all interested that he had an art show in China. 

You think that everyone must be fascinated with Dylan and Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell. Some people are, but perhaps they are not on Newstalkers. 

There are things that I have interest in, but I dont seed them here because I can tell there would be little response. . 

Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.1.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1    2 years ago

Well, my "bump" got you and a few others to look at the article so far.  I just want to know that SOMEONE is interested enough to just LOOK - they don't have to comment, or even click the :"Like", and that's enough.  They don't have to be FASCINATED, just interested enough to look. I think my problem is that I post articles while everyone else is sleeping, so the article gets wiped off the board before most people even are awake to notice it.

Although the majority of members are more interested in Trump, there are some who have other interests.  Maybe I'm interested in Dylan more than most, because I've met him and his wife and son, and spoke with him.

Professor Principal
3  Kavika     2 years ago

I definitely made a comment on this article a couple of days ago...I have no idea why it disappeared, this disappearing act has happened a couple of times in the last week or so.  

Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
3.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Kavika @3    2 years ago

That's happened to me a lot.

PhD Guide
4  Sunshine    2 years ago

I am going to see him in concert very soon.  Can't wait!  

Those paintings are very good.

Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
4.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Sunshine @4    2 years ago

I've seen him live in concerts a few times, the first being in the early 60s when he came to Toronto for the first time.  Another time was in 1965 at Newport, when he got booed off the stage for going electric.

PhD Guide
4.1.1  Sunshine  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4.1    2 years ago

I never have seen him.  Still performing at 78...the reviews so far have been excellent. 

Five rows back, so hoping for a good show! 

Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
4.1.2  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Sunshine @4.1.1    2 years ago

Great seats. The first time I saw him in concert I was in the balcony. Unfortunately his voice is failing somewhat.

Sophomore Silent
4.1.3  JaneDoe  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4.1    2 years ago

A bunch of us saw him live in 1996 at Star Lake  Amphitheater.  It’s a great outdoor venue. Even took my son who was about 5 1/2.

Professor Guide
5  1stwarrior    2 years ago

Buzz - contrary to what John is saying, there are many folks on NT who find the music/lyrics/lives of artists of the 60's/70's/80's remarkably soothing and telling of their growth during those eras.  But, no everyone who is a member of NT is going to comment.  One reason - fear of attacks/ridicule/tentatively causing angst.

I love Dylan and the influence he has had on Native American artists.  I love Stevie Ray Vaughn and the showcasing that the Native American group Indigenous has done with his music.  And then, there's always those of us who actually start humming/singing those songs at the slightest mention of them.

Never knew Dylan was a painter - he is good.


Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
5.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  1stwarrior @5    2 years ago

He also influenced visual artists. I bought a painting from an artist who did a fantastic watercolour that was inspired by the line "I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children" from his "Hard Rain" song. It was too big to bring with me so it's hanging in my son's house.  It resembles Picasso's Guernica.


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