Aug 052013

Nina Felix by Bob Dylan © Bob Dylan Pastel portraits by Bob Dylan to go on display in LondonPas­tel por­traits by Bob Dylan will be shown for the first time at London’s in Septem­ber — the first time his work will have been seen in a museum in Britain.

The 12 new works to be dis­played rep­res­ent the latest por­trait stud­ies from an artist who has sketched and drawn since child­hood and painted since the late 1960s, but only began to exhibit his art works six years ago.

Bob Dylan: Face Value is a side-step for the Gal­lery in that Dylan’s por­traits are not of sub­jects from Brit­ish pub­lic life, past or present, nor are they made by a work­ing por­trait artist. The por­traits rep­res­ent char­ac­ters, with an amal­gam­a­tion of fea­tures Dylan has col­lec­ted from life, memory and his ima­gin­a­tion and fash­ioned into people, some real and some fic­ti­tious. For the art his­tor­ian John Eld­er­field, who was instru­mental in bring­ing the dis­play to the National Por­trait Gal­lery, Dylan’s paint­ings, like his songs, are ‘products of the same extraordin­ary, invent­ive ima­gin­a­tion, the same mind and eye, by the same story-telling artist, for whom show­ing and telling – the tem­poral and the spa­tial, the verbal and the visual – are not eas­ily separated.’

Bob Dylan is one of America’s most influ­en­tial and import­ant cul­tural fig­ures. With over 600 songs, 46 albums and an aston­ish­ing 110 mil­lion record sales to his name, Dylan, in his sixth dec­ade as a world­wide cul­tural icon, is turn­ing increas­ingly to another form of artistic expres­sion; one that has occu­pied him through­out his life, but for which he is much less well known.


Bob Dylan: Face Value will be in the Con­tem­por­ary Col­lec­tion dis­plays, Room 40, on the Ground Floor Lerner Gal­ler­ies, National Por­trait Gal­lery, Lon­don, 24 August 2013 — 5 Janu­ary 2014. Admis­sion free.


Top: Nina Felix by Bob Dylan © Bob Dylan

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