“I paint mostly from real life. It has to start with that. Real people, real street scenes, behind the curtain scenes, live models, paintings, photographs, staged setups, architecture, grids, graphic design. Whatever it takes to make it work.”

One of the most iconic and prolific musicians of our time, singer-songwriter Bob Dylan has been chronicling modern life, note by note, for nearly sixty years. Equally influential and indomitable, Dylan’s songs helped redefine folk, pop, blues, country and rock music, all while providing a soundtrack to America’s civil rights and anti-war movements. The power and breadth of his artistry, however, has only been fully recognized recently: in 2016 his work creating “new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition” was honored with a Nobel Prize for Literature.

This exhibition celebrates yet another impressive aspect of Dylan’s polymathic creative output: his talents in visual art. A dedicated performer, Dylan started what is known as his “Never Ending Tour” in 1988; between 1989 and 1992, as he traveled through North America, Europe, and Asia, he began sketching glimpses of his life on the road. The resultant pencil and charcoal drawings were a way to “refocus a restless mind,” as Dylan claimed, providing him a new outlet to celebrate the comings and goings of everyday life. Dylan made three different collections out of the original drawings by ‘remastering’ these works, adding vivid watercolor and gouache to digital enlargements of the drawings to create a new, special edition set entitled The Drawn Blank Series. All three series were first seen in public at the 2007 exhibition at the prestigious Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz Museum in Germany. After this exhibition, the works now seen in Helsinki were left to Dylan himself. Today, this collection of 92 unique original signed works is owned by a private collector while the other two sets were sold to a private gallery.  Drawing comparisons to modern masters such as Henri Matisse and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, they reveal the full talents of an “alchemist of the word and the sound,” transforming the world before him into gold.

The exhibition is curated by Ms. Katharine J. Wright, Consulting Curator

Original Works

92 unique original signed works.

Highlights

Museum quality original paintings; considered to be the only complete set in existence.

Exhibition Materials

High resolution images, captions, wall texts.

Display

Requires approx. 100-110 linear meters (325-375 linear feet), depending on the installation.

Characteristics of Collection
  • Geographic location of storage: U.S.A. (north-east).
  • All works are shipped framed as per international museum standards.
  • Collection includes the necessary international shipping crates and packing materials ensuring safe ‘nail to nail” transport.
  • Collection is comprehensive, covering a substantial part of the artist’s body of work making it capable of serving as a stand-alone exhibition.
  • Museum curators are provided with extensive information and may curate the exhibition to their specifications.
  • Collection may be expanded or complemented with art from the borrowing museum’s own collections.

Notice:
We encourage museums interested in hosting our collection to obtain a copy of the Code of Best Practices In Fair Use for the Visual Arts (see link) to learn more about the scope of their rights to advertise exhibitions in ways that comply with copyright law yet do not require the approval or licensing of copyright owners.

Selected Images