‘A real artist made these drawings and paintings. Their integrity is compelling. They demand to be looked at, for their awe and wonder at the beauty and grandeur of being alive. These are the pictures of a true poet.’
Although internationally known as a singer and songwriter, Bob Dylan is also an author, film director, actor, disc jockey and visual artist. One of the most influential and, at times, controversial figures in the music industry of the past five decades, he has sold over 125 million records around the world and since 1988 has played around 100 shows a year in the ‘Never-Ending Tour’.
LYRICS & DRAWINGS
Mondo Scripto features some of Dylan's most renowned lyrics, handwritten in pen on paper and each accompanied by a corresponding graphite drawing. They demonstrate a direct engagement between his visual art and his songwriting. Dylan's lyrics can be oblique or straightforward, elevated or conversational. He is a master of the songwriter's craft. Dylan returns to songs again and again - tweaking and reworking them. In live performance, he often presents a new version of a well-known song. For Mondo Scripto, some songs have had a few lines changed, while others have had verses completely rewritten. The pencil drawings continue this dialogue between past and present, fixed and fluid, conducted by an artist who changed the relationship between music and words forever.
Growing up in an area known as the 'Iron Range', Dylan was surrounded by industry during his childhood. Reclaimed by the artist, the tools of the past now adorn gates, screens, furniture and wall hangings. With their repurposed parts given a new function, the Ironworks retain both the rawness and the history of their origins. The gates are carefully crafted, and contain symbols, jokes and allusions. They are decorative and they are functional. You can appreciate the gates as art, interpret them as metaphors, or you can simply close them to create peace and safety.
Modern Art Museum, Shanghai 2019-2020
Today Art Museum, Beijing 2020
Jupiter Museum of Art, Shenzhen, 2021
In 2019, Dylan's first comprehensive solo museum exhibition Retrospectrum opened at the Modern Art Museum, Shanghai, and was the most visited exhibition in Shanghai in 2019. Spanning five decades of Dylan's career and seven series of works, Retrospectrum marks the artist's most comprehensive art exhibition to date featuring more than 250 artworks in an array of media.