Please note: The Drawn Blank Series exhibition is touring the UK, first at The Lightbox in Woking from 25 November 2008 to 11 January 2009; and then Edinburgh City Art Centre from 31 January to 19 March 2009. To purchase copies of the catalogue and for any enquiries about the availability of original art works, please contact Halcyon Gallery direct. Andrew's catalogue essay is printed here:
The Italian Futurists believed modern art should embrace the modern world, and cursed museums as the dead repositories of a dead past. They dreamed of firebombing the Uffizi and of razing the Louvre to the ground. Bob Dylan in the 1960s had his own doubts about museums too, calling them “cemeteries.” He believed “paintings should be on the walls of restaurants, in dime stores, in gas stations, in men’s rooms. . .”
But museums have a way of absorbing such attacks. They also have a way of absorbing the work of their fiercest critics as well. Most of the paintings of the Futurists have ended up in museums. The manuscripts of Dylan’s own song lyrics will no doubt wind up there too, and the same fate probably awaits Dylan’s hitherto little known work as a draughtsman and painter. The best of it is forthright, sincere, immediate and surprisingly accomplished. It has the added appeal of being a kind of diary, kept in images, by one of the most celebrated songwriters and musicians of modern times. It has already been shown once in a museum – the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz Museum, in Germany, to be precise, which staged the first serious exhibition of Dylan’s work as a fine artist in the winter of 2007.
Yet the essence of Dylan’s “The Drawn Blank Series” is its spirit of resistance to a certain idea of the...