Retrospectrum, the most expansive and in-depth exhibition of Bob Dylan's artwork ever seen on U.S. soil, will have its U.S. debut at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University on November 30, 2021 at the opening of Miami Art Week. The exhibition debuted at the Modern Art Museum (MAM) Shanghai in 2019, developed by the museum’s Artistic Director, Shai Baitel. This U.S. debut will also feature the world premiere of a brand new series of Dylan paintings: Deep Focus.
Running through April 17, 2022, Retrospectrum features nearly 200 paintings, drawings and ironwork sculptures by Bob Dylan at the Frost Art Museum. The exhibition spans six prolific decades of Dylan’s art making practice in drawing, painting and sculpture. Retrospectrum showcases the development and diversity of Dylan's visual practice, while immersive and interactive displays simultaneously illuminate the context of his artistic evolution, in tandem with Dylan’s musical and literary canon. “Deep Focus,” a new series of over 40 paintings by Bob Dylan, will be presented for the first time at the Frost Art Museum. For “Deep Focus” Dylan selected scenes from films and transformed them into paintings, like film stills, another expression of Dylan’s acute ability to fix a moment in time.
Bob Dylan says of the exhibition, “Seeing many of my works years after I completed them is a fascinating experience. I don’t really associate them with any particular time or place or state of mind, but view them as part of a long arc; a continuing of the way we go forth in the world and the way our perceptions are shaped and altered by life. One can be as profoundly influenced by events in Morretes, Brazil as they can be by the man who sells El País in Madrid.”
Of his new series, Deep Focus, Dylan explained, “All these images come from films. They try to highlight the different predicaments that people find themselves in. Whether it’s James Cagney or Margaret Rutherford, the dreams and schemes are the same – life as it’s coming at you in all its forms and shapes.”
While the world knows him best as an historic musical icon, Dylan is also an impassioned visual artist.
“Miami is fortunate to have been selected as the first U.S. city to display the Nobel Prize winning poet, singer and songwriter's powerful illustrations, paintings, and sculpture,” says Frost Art Museum Director Jordana Pomeroy. “This tour de force shares similar cultural significance and sensitivities with Dylan's canon of immortal songs. For the generations who have loved and respected his music, Retrospectrum will be a once-in-a-lifetime privilege to enjoy. FIU is especially honored to bring the show to our students, patrons, and the general public, to define anew this enduring American artist.”
Retrospectrum positions the Nobel Prize winning, multi-faceted artist within his broader body of work and shines a light on a life-long visual practice that is entirely remarkable in its own right. As a gateway for learning, investigating, and contemplating enduring innovation, the Frost Art Museum presents an open forum for art, ideas, and community life.
Retrospectrum will be accompanied by a full-color catalogue.
Torn Curtain, Acrylic on canvas, 2021, 36” x 60”