His Music Is Legendary. But His Art Is 'Rarely Seen'

Largest ever collection of Bob Dylan's artwork to be shown in US
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2021 7:33 AM CDT
His Music Is Legendary. But His Art Is 'Rarely Seen'
This picture provided and painted by Bob Dylan in 2019 in called "Sunset, Monumet, Valley".   (Bob Dylan via AP)

More than 120 "rarely seen" paintings, drawings, and sculptures by Bob Dylan are to be exhibited in the US for the first time. The artworks, completed over six decades, will be displayed at the Frost Art Museum at Florida International University beginning on Nov. 30, to coincide with Miami Art Week, reports Rolling Stone. Dylan first began drawing in the 1960s "to pass time whilst recovering from a motorbike crash," according to the Canvas Gallery. A book of drawings and sketches from his time touring the US, Asia, and Europe was then published in 1994. Germany's Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz art museum debuted "The Drawn Blank Series" of Dylan's art in 2007. Since then, pieces have been shown at the National Portrait Gallery in London, England; the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen; and the Palazzo Reale in Milan, Italy, per the AP.

New York's Gagosian gallery exhibited Dylan's "Asia Series of controversial acrylic paintings" in 2011, according to the Canvas Gallery. But the FIU exhibit will represent the largest collection of Dylan's artworks ever shown in the US. Bob Dylan: Retrospectrum, to be displayed until April 17, 2022, was initially shown at the Modern Art Museum in Shanghai, China, in 2019. The museum's artistic director, Shai Baitel, says "hundreds of thousands came to experience and engage with [Dylan's] remarkable creativity, unique observations, and social commentary." "When I saw the catalogue … I knew immediately that I wanted to bring this iconic artist's rarely seen visual works to South Florida," says FIU president Mark B. Rosenberg. Never-before-seen works have since been added to the collection, including two paintings completed in 2020, per the AP. (Dylan's won some pretty big awards for his other gig.)

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