Bob Dylan, the nasal voice of social protest and Victoria’s Secret advertising, will will show never-before-seen paintings and drawings at Denmark's national gallery, the Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen. The impish songster, who for many years produced warm impressionistic drawings and prints depicting the kind of American ramblers, gamblers, and sad-eyed ladies that populate his lyrics, exhibited his first paintings at London’s Halcyon Gallery in February of this year. Now, for the Denmark show, Dylan is unveiling a new batch of 40 original acrylic paintings and 8 drawings that comprise "The Brazil Series," set to go on view from September 4 until January 30.
These pieces, which Dylan began work on in 2009, "show the scenes from daily life in the cities, the slums, and the countryside in Brazil where Bob Dylan has been several times," the museum’s curator and director Kaspar Monrad told the Agence France-Presse. Monrad went on to emphasize Dylan’s artistic kinship with Matisse, which is a novel association for the seminal songwriter, whose 2004 memoir "Chronicles" earned him comparisons to Keats.
In press materials for the show, Dylan speaks more humbly about his painterly stature, stating: "I’ve been to the National Gallery of Denmark and it definitely is an impressive art museum. It was more than a little surprising when I was asked to create works specifically for this museum."
But the institution has insisted on playing up the counterculture bard’s importance as a visual artist, offering the amusingly understated assertion that, "since the 1960s he has, among other things, worked with pictorial art." Among other things, yes.