Bob Dylan's paintings on show in Danish gallery

Thu Sep 2, 2010 1:49pm EDT
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By John Acher

COPENHAGEN (Reuters Life!) - Forty new paintings by American singer and songwriter Bob Dylan go on show this weekend in Denmark, but museum-goers will hardly find "Blowin' in the Wind" or references to other famous lyrics in the pictures.

The exhibition at the National Gallery in Copenhagen from September 4 to February 20, 2011 presents scenes of everyday life in Brazil, done in bold acrylic colors by the man whose 1960s songs helped define an era and who continues to record and tour.

"The Brazil Series" represents a new chapter in the painterly activities of the 69-year-old Dylan, who has painted and drawn for decades and exhibited his watercolors in Chemnitz, Germany, in 2007 and London in 2008.

"Artistic crossovers are not always successful -- Bob Dylan's is," said museum director Karsten Ohrt. "This is another side of Bob Dylan, but still very much Bob Dylan."

Calling him "a remarkable visual artist," Ohrt dismissed as absurd the question of whether the museum would have shown the paintings if they had been done by someone other than Dylan.

But Curator Kasper Monrad told reporters at an advance viewing on Thursday there was no doubt that the exhibition came about "because it's Bob Dylan."

"He's perhaps the greatest musician and songwriter of the 20th century who has embarked on a new project," Monrad said.

"The paintings are not illustrations of the songs," he said.   Continued...

<p>Employees stand near Bob Dylan's acrylic on canvas painting entitled "Train Tracks 2" during the Bob Dylan On Canvas exhibit at the Halcyon Gallery in London, February 10, 2010. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett</p>