BOB DYLAN The Monk, 2009 Acyrlic on canvas 48 x 36 inches (121.9 x 91.4 cm) Photo by Joshua White


From the 20th of September to the 22nd of October 2011 – Gagosian Gallery Madison Avenue

Dylan’s drawings and paintings are marked by the same constant drive for renewal that characterizes his legendary music. He often draws and paints while on tour, and his motifs bear corresponding impressions of the many different environments and people that he encounters. A keen observer, Dylan works from real life to depict everyday phenomena in such a way that they appear fresh, new, and mysterious.

The Asia Series, a visual journal of his travels in Japan, China, Vietnam, and Korea, comprises firsthand depictions of people, street scenes, architecture and landscape, which can be clearly identified by title and specific cultural details, such as Mae Ling, Cockfight, The Bridge, and Hunan Province. Conversely, there are more cryptic paintings often of personalities and situations, such Big Brother and Opium, or LeBelle Cascade, which looks like a riff on Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe but which is, in fact, a scenographic tourist photo-opportunity in a Tokyo amusement arcade.

The most celebrated singer-songwriter of our time, Dylan has been making visual art since the 1960s, but his work had not been publicly exhibited until 2007, when an exhibition of The Drawn Blank Series was held in Chemnitz, Germany, followed by The Brazil Series at the Statens Museum, Copenhagen, 2008. The Asia Series will be his first exhibition in New York.

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