Bob Dylan Artwork To Be Displayed At National Portrait Gallery, London

Artwork by American musician Bob Dylan will be exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London later this month.

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing at the 2012 Hop Farm Music Festival in Kent, UK.

The exhibition entitled Bob Dylan: Face Value will be held at the National Portrait Gallery later this month. The exhibition features 12 pastel portraits by the 72-year-old musician.The portraits, contrary to usual National Portrait Gallery policy, are inspired by real people and fictitious characters from Dylan's imagination and memory.

Dylan has been painting since the late sixties but only started exhibiting his work in 2007. His work has previously been displayed in Kuntsammlungen Chemnitz in Germany, the Halcyon Gallery in London and the Gagosian Gallery in New York.

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing at the 2012 Hop Farm Music Festival in Kent, UK.

It may simply be that Dylan's exhibition will be successful owing to his fame as a musician. However the director of the National Portrait Gallery, Sandy Nairne, commented on the importance of Bob Dylan culturally. She said "Bob Dylan is one of the most influential cultural figures of our time. He has always created a highly visual world either with his words or music, or in paints and pastels." She went on to say "I am delighted that we can now share these 12 sketches which were made for display at the National Portrait Gallery."

Reviews of Dylan's artwork are highly complementary, Richard Prince of NYBooks wrote of his surprise in finding that Dylan's work was "complete" and "the fact that he knew what he was doing." However, other reviews have been more critical with Revisionist Art, his exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery, described as "obvious" and "meaningless" (Michael H. Miller of GalleryNY). 

Bob Dylan: Face Value will be in the National Portrait Gallery in London from August 24 2013 to 5 January 2014.

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing at the 2012 Hop Farm Music Festival in Kent, UK.


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