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Bob Dylan's 'Retrospectrum' debuts at the Modern Art Museum, Shanghai

Modern Art Museum, Shanghai

Retrospectrum features more than 250 of Bob Dylan's artworks in an array of media, with important works loaned from private collections around the world. The artist's diverse creations include oil, acrylic and watercolor painting, as well as his ink, pastel and charcoal drawings and distinctive ironwork sculptures.

'The exhibition provides visitors with a unique opportunity to view Dylan's journey in the visual arts as well as an introduction to the artist's singular stature as a singer, songwriter, recording artist and concert performer reflected in iconic elements from his storied career' said the exhibition's artistic director Mr. Shai Baitel.

Bob Dylan says of the exhibition, 'Seeing many of my works years after I completed them is a fascinating experience.  I don't really associate them with any particular time or place or state of mind, but view them as part of a long arc; a continuum that begins with the way I go forth in the world and changes direction as my perception is shaped and altered by life. I can be as profoundly influenced by events in Morretes, Brazil as I am by the man who sells me El País in Madrid. Shanghai is a city so rich in culture and history, and I couldn't be happier that Retrospectrum is being exhibited there.'

Among the artworks featured in Retrospectrum are some of the artist's earliest ink sketches first published in 1973's Writings and Drawings that illustrated and compiled Dylan's lyrics up until that time. These drawings are shown alongside works from last year's Mondo Scripto series, in which Dylan revisited some of his most renowned lyrics, hand-writing and illustrating them in his unique hand. The exhibition also features the iconic Train Tracks paintings representing The Drawn Blank Series (2008) that first brought Bob Dylan's visual artworks to critical and popular acclaim. The exhibition of 140 of these works in Chemnitz, Germany in 2007 established Dylan's credentials as a fine artist.

Retrospectrum also features paintings from Dylan's The New Orleans Series and The Asia Series (from 2012 and 2010 respectively), inspired by the artist's own travels, as well as works from his hugely popular The Beaten Path series (2015 - present), that includes the monumental landscape painting Endless Highway III (2016) that exemplifies Dylan's appreciation for the beauty of America's landscape and captures anticipation for the road ahead. As with the earlier The Drawn Blank Series, there is an emphasis on journey and transition in The Beaten Path works that reflects a life spent on the road.

Among the artist's most rarely seen pieces that feature in Retrospectrum are his industrial ironworks, created from repurposed objects that speak to America's industrial past. First exhibited in London in 2013, the ironworks reveal the artist's little-known fascination with welding and metalwork. Retrospectrum will also premiere a brand-new, large-scale and dramatic installation of new acrylic on canvas paintings.

 

About Modern Art Museum

The Modern Art Museum (MAM) in Shanghai, China, is an institution focused on diversity, equality, nurturing creativity and education. An institution with a global and multidisciplinary approach, MAM Shanghai aims at contributing to the education, knowledge and enjoyment of art through an immersive and engaging experience.  Its vast industrial architecture offers a versatile and dynamic space to connect the shared cultures of the East and West. Located along the 'cultural corridor' of museums and galleries that runs along the riverside in the Pudong New Area, MAM utilizes innovative methods to facilitate public participation and engagement with art.

28 September 2019—31 March 2020
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