Red on the Tracks: New Paintings by Bob Dylan


Dylan fans rejoice with caution. Though 100 of the musical bard’s paintings will be exhibited a scant 365 days from now, they will be in Denmark, at the National Gallery in Copenhagen to be precise. In the meantime, we’ve got a preview of two works from the exhibition, both painted in 2009 and reminiscent of German expressionism and the bright fauvism of Matisse. Take a look.

Train Tracks (2009) and Man on a Bridge (2009) by Bob Dylan, courtesy of the artist.

30 new acrylic paintings from Dylan’s “Brazil Series” will debut as part of a larger exhibition featuring paintings from the “Drawn Blank” series, previously shown in Scotland and Germany and on his website.

From what we can tell, Bob Dylan’s art is similar to his musical oeuvre: his voice isn’t beautiful, but damn if it isn’t expressive. And, as the museum’s chief curator said to Reuters, inviting the critical discussion that is sure to accompany this kind of “blockbuster” exhibition hyped for its celebrity rather than artistic merit, “Bob Dylan’s visual artistic practice has only been discussed by art historians to a limited extent, so critical examination and interpretation are called for.” Get to it in the comments.

Rose on a Hill Side and Three Chairs from the “Drawn Blank” series, courtesy of Bob Dylan.

Fun fact: The small self-portrait, one of Dylan’s first affairs with painting, graced the cover of his critically-panned tenth studio album Self-Portrait (1970).