New exhibition of Bob Dylan as a visual artist

Bob Dylan: Retrospectum will be on view through April 17, 2022.

Many of us know Bob Dylan for his extraordinary music. The lyrics of his songs, such as Blowin’ in the Wind, Like a Rolling Stone and Knocking on Heaven’s Door, can be read like poems.

Now, a new exhibition at Florida International University’s Frost Art Museum will celebrate another facet of his legacy.

Bob Dylan: Retrospectum explores Bob Dylan’s work as a visual artist, with nearly 200 paintings, drawings, and sculptures.

The exhibition made its Shanghai debut in 2019 and is, according to the university, “the broadest and deepest exhibition of Bob Dylan’s artwork ever seen on American soil.”

The show’s arrival in the United States also includes something special: Among the artworks on display is Dylan’s new series of paintings, Deep Focus. Exhibited for the first time, these paintings consist of movie scenes that Dylan has transformed into works of art.

The series is just one part of his extensive portfolio of work, which spans decades. For Dylan, seeing his work presented together gives him a new perspective on his art.

“Seeing many of my works years after they are finished is a fascinating experience,” he shares.

“I don’t really associate them with any particular time, place or state of mind, but rather see them as part of a big arc; a continuation of the way we move through the world and the way our perceptions are shaped and altered by life.

One can feel deeply influenced both by the events in Morretes, Brazil, and by the man who sells El País in Madrid”.

Dylan’s work shows that his craft extends far beyond music. His paintings have a great level of detail and a perspective that creates incredible spatial depth.