Castle Galleries to mark Bob Dylan’s 70th birthday
As one of the world’s most important and influential cultural icons of a generation, Bob Dylan’s global influence permeates every layer of our modern culture.
In the words of the poet, Maya Angelou, “Bob Dylan supported the human being, the spirit of being an American – of knowing that the mountains and the rivulets and the voting booths belong to all of us, all the time.”
Now his impact on the world of visual art will be affirmed at Castle Galleries Glasgow, Princes’ Square, Buchanan Street, prepares to unveil The Drawn Blank Series 2011 to mark Dylan’s 70th birthday.
The exclusive worldwide launch will see The Drawn Blank Series 2011 simultaneously unveiled at 0900H on Saturday 23 July in Castle Galleries across the UK, including Castle Galleries Glasgow whilst collectors will be able to get a tantalising first glimpse of the 2011 series online on Friday 15 July at castlegalleries.com. The eight new limited edition graphics, all of which are personally signed by Bob Dylan, feature previously unpublished imagery and newly revealed treatments from Dylan’s paintbrush which look set to cement his place in the lofty halls of art history.
Glyn Washington, managing director and co-founder of Washington Green Fine Art, publishers of The Drawn Blank Series, is delighted to be able to bring the collection to Glasgow and he believes the series marks a defining moment in the singer/songwriter’s visual art journey. “Dylan's art is the product of an extraordinary, inventive imagination. The same mind, hand and eye that made the songs, has turned again in an astonishing new direction. How privileged are we, as Dylan reaches a pivotal ‘three score years and ten’, to be able to view, absorb and enjoy another creative outpouring from such a cultural icon.”
Taken from drawings Dylan created whilst on the road from 1989 to 1992, these expressive works capture the artist’s chance encounters and uniquely combine the everyday with the extraordinary and the intimate, personal moments in Dylan’s life. Dylan’s brush dances loosely and “without affection” to a previously unpublished title Mexico and then across the transitory world of life on the road; from Sidewalk Cafe through Motel Pool, and on to Truck all of which provide “some kind of panoramic view of the world” as Dylan saw it… always restless, always on the move.
Walking in art history’s path, first trodden by the Fauvists and followed through by Warhol, Dylan returns to familiar themes such as Man on a Bridge and Woman in Red Lion Pub, powerfully transforming this generation of paintings – with the use of different tones and evocative shades - nuances which breathe a new freshness and different resonance to each of his works of art.
Dylan’s life and work over seven decades continues to excite great public interest around the globe and this year alone has seen the publication of four books on Dylan’s life. Passing comment on The Drawn Blank Series 2011, Sid Griffin author of Million Dollar Bash: Bob Dylan, the Band and the Basement Tapes said: "The Drawn Blank Series by Bob Dylan is edging towards the same legendary status as other classic Dylan artistic endeavors such as the Basement Tapes, his Chronicle memoirs or his 1966 World Tour. Via Dylan's portraits of solitary figures caught in the moment, streets devoid of traffic and unoccupied yet fully furnished rooms, we get a rare chance to look through the very same lens as Dylan as he focuses on the world as he sees it. The art gives a tantalising glimpse into the mindset of a famously restless artistic soul. Seemingly as indebted to nineteenth century French painters in these paintings as he is to nineteenth century French poets in his music, The Drawn Blank Series continues to give Dylan's fans previously unexpected wonderment in a new field and proves their faith in one of the great creative minds of our time was not unfounded."
June Skinner Sawyers, author of Bob Dylan: New York added: “His paintings are as idiosyncratic as his music but also somehow recognisably Dylanesque. There is a childlike simplicity about them, a haunted - and haunting - folk quality apparent in their muted colors and subtle shadings. The subject matter is just as plainspoken - a bearded man on a bridge, his coat flapping in the wind; a motel pool on a sunny day devoid of all human activity - but there is also a hint of melancholy here, a touch of mystery rippling beneath the placid surface.”
Dylan’s landmark 70th birthday, on 24th May, also triggered an outpouring of tributes. Martin Scorsese whose documentary film No Direction Home (2005) told the story of Dylan’s life between 1961 and 1966, and his impact on popular music in the 20th century, claimed Dylan was virtually peerless as an artist. “Bob is ageless because he keeps turning new corners, beating down new paths, redefining himself and his art as he goes.”
Dylan’s unrelenting schedule for what fans call the ‘Never Ending Tour’ remains undisturbed by his 70th milestone birthday, as Dylan crisscrossed Europe last month and is back on the road from 14 July to 20 August with a 23-city national routing across the States. On the day his visual art, The Drawn Blank Series 2011, is unveiled in Castle Galleries Glasgow, Dylan will be playing to Thackerville, Oklahoma at the Winstar World Casino.
The Drawn Blank Series will feature eight images in one size with prices starting from £1,500. There are highly collectable and beautifully presented Box Sets incorporating all eight images, as well as a beautiful hardback book (for £39.95) illustrating this extraordinary collection from Bob Dylan. Each edition is published in a limited number of no more than 295 copies worldwide. All are printed on Hahnemühle Museum Etching paper, certificated and personally signed by Dylan the artist. For more information visit castlegalleries.com (where the new images will be previewed from Friday 15th July).