Bob Dylan's Artwork Coming to National Gallery: But Is It Any Good?

Bob Dylan's artwork will be exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London from September, according to the BBC.

The legendary singer, 72, will exhibit 12 pastel works, a mixture of real and fictitious characters, in the Bob Dylan: Face Value exhibition. It will be the first time the creations have been exhibited anywhere in the world.

The director of the National Portrait Gallery, Sandy Nairne, added: "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."

In 2008, the Halcyon Gallery in London's Mayfair featured some of Dylan's drawings and sketches from periods on the road between 1989 to 1992. 

Dylan's exhibition in New York Revisionist Art: Thirty Works by Bob Dylan received lukewarm reviews in late 2012. The New York Times' art critic Roberta Smith wrote, "The paintings were competent but undistinguished. They suggested that if Mr. Dylan jettisoned the photographs and just painted, possibly outdoors, he might carve out a niche for himself as an amateur artist."

In 2011, Bob Dylan's exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery on the Upper East Side drew scrutiny over claims of plagiarism. Billed as a "visual journal" of the singer's travels "in Japan, China, Vietnam and Korea" including "first-hand depictions of people, street scenes, architecture and landscape," the show opened on September 20, 2011. However, Dylanologists began raising questions about Dylan's observations, particularly their similarity to photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson. 

Mr. Dylan did not comment on the similarities.

Bob DylanBob Dylan Performing in Lisbon, Portugal

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan At The Hop Farm Festival


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