This Saturday, a major show of Dylan’s sketches, watercolors, and acrylic works of iconic Americana landscapes opens at London’s Halcyon Gallery. Called “The Beaten Path”—a name selected by the artist—the works show America as Dylan has seen it on tour: images of quintessential Americana, at once iconic and quotidian. Lonely stretches of highway, bridges, ice-cream stores, diners, even Katz’s Deli in Manhattan—they are as intimate as they are universal. “America is a fascination, and a central part of whole world,” says Halcyon C.E.O. Udi Sheleg. “Everybody who’s been to America . . . can find a lot of the scenes that speak to him look familiar, yet they look personal [to Dylan].”
Dylan has also penned an essay for the exhibition catalogue—his most extensive piece of prose since the publication of his memoir Chronicles: Volume One in 2004. Dylan, as always somehow as coy as he is simplistic, writes that “the idea was to create pictures that would not be misinterpreted or misunderstood by me or anybody else.”
Dylan has been working with Halcyon for nearly a decade, after the gallery reached out as Dylan was showing his “Drawn Blank Series” at Germany’s Kunstsammlungen Museum. “It was authentic, it was fresh, it was looking at objects or scenes in the eyes of who we knew was Bob Dylan,” Sheleg says.