Bob Dylan is one of the great American artists and a worldwide cultural icon who has been inspiring audiences for six decades. Having forever changed the relationship between music and language, Dylan became the first musician to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016, recognised ‘for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition’. As stated by Paul Green, President of Halcyon Gallery, ‘In this groundbreaking historical event, Dylan has for the first time fused together his artistic disciplines, bringing a new perspective to the music and lyrics. Dylan’s creativity across all mediums has established him as a modern legend, informing and shaping each generation for more than half a century.’
Mondo Scripto explores this seminal body of work from many different and surprising angles. Dylan is continually breathing new life into his songs, both musically and lyrically, reworking them to unveil new discoveries in each chord and phrase. With Mondo Scripto, Dylan continues to reinvigorate his work by occasionally altering a lyrical line – sometimes overtly, other times subtly. With ‘Gotta Serve Somebody’ (1979) and ‘If You See Her, Say Hello’ (1975), Dylan has completely redrafted some verses to imbue the songs with new meaning. Some lyrics, such as those of ‘Tangled Up In Blue’ (1975), have been rewritten especially for the this exhibition. The individual pencil drawings that accompany each lyric enhance this unfolding dialogue with the artist’s audience.
Also featured in the exhibition is an original installation reimagining ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’ (1973), illustrated line by line.
As Tom Piazza, a celebrated novelist and writer on American music, states in the foreword to the exhibition catalogue, ‘Mondo Scripto provides the occasion for a fresh and unexpected window on one of the most significant bodies of work of any creative artist in our time.’ He writes, ‘Dylan’s restlessly creative mind is never wholly satisfied, and those familiar with these songs will find surprise at many a new turn of phrase. The unexpected couplings of these works and images offer a surprisingly intimate door into each song, adding dimension, delight and insight into the artist’s relation to his own work.’