Cohen/Dylan dichotomy

Ask and answer questions about Leonard Cohen, his work, this forum and the websites!
User avatar
liverpoolken
Posts: 3174
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 11:25 pm

Re: Cohen/Dylan dichotomy

Post by liverpoolken » Tue Nov 13, 2007 11:55 pm

Difference between LC & BD # 3271

Bob handles his artistic output in far more dignified manner.
Bob decided to show his work in Chemnitz in an art gallery within the beautiful König Albert Museum rather than put it all up for sale at silly prices in private commercial galleries. No greaseball gallery owner or a cash register in sight.
As a result the work has caught the attention of art critics, which I can't recall LC's doodles ever managing to do.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/player/nol/newsid ... b=1&news=1

Chemnitz, of all places!
This little-known Saxon city, called Karl-Marx-Stadt in the communist era, has a miserable image as a poor, dilapidated, rustbelt town. Its population has shrunk from 330,000 to 240,000 since German unification. But in the arts world its fame is spreading. The beautiful König Albert Museum houses the Chemnitz
City Art Gallery, where Ingrid Mössinger, its clever director since 1996, has been very busy.
Since her arrival the gallery has had remarkable exhibitions of work by Pablo Picasso, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Edvard Munch and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. The permanent collection includes 65,000 works of 20th-century art, including a large collection of paintings by Chemnitz-born Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, one of the founding members of the famous Brücke group, in 1905, which marked the beginning of German expressionism.

Last year Mössinger came across Bob Dylan's 1965 album, "Bringing it All Back Home" (her first and—still—only Dylan album). She was touched, especially by the first song, "Subterranean Homesick Blues". "Someone who uses such metaphoric and abstract language might also be drawing", she explained to me. She searched for evidence in several Dylan biographies and was not at all surprised when she discovered "Drawn Blank", a book published by Random House in 1994, with 92 drawings and sketches Dylan made while on tour between 1989 and 1992. She finally got hold of a copy at the Morgan Library in New York.

Persuaded of Dylan's talent as a draftsman, Mössinger wanted him to "eventually complete" his sketches—something he had indicated a desire to do in his book's preface. It took her a while to get hold of him, but once she did, she received a positive reply within two days. Dylan was inspired by her commitment. "I was fascinated to learn of Ingrid's interest in my work, and it gave me the impetus to realise the vision I had for these drawings many years ago. If not for this interest, I don't know if I even would have revisited them", the singer is quoted as saying in the museum's literature. Over eight months Dylan elaborated on his 322 works.

He enlarged 85 drawings and printed them on deckle-edged paper. He produced three or four variations of a single motif by adding water colours or gouache and sometimes repainted one or two details. Mössinger chose 140 paintings (all titled and signed by the artist) for her show and 170 for the catalogue, available in German and English.

The exhibition's audio guide is available in German only. But even without a guide, the real Dylan fan is going to find songs (or lines from them) visualised in this or that painting. Take a long look at "Woman in Red Lion Pub", for instance, probably the show's highlight, and songs including "Visions of Johanna" and "Just Like a Woman" from "Blonde on Blonde" (1966) are bound to cross your mind. Or did Dylan think of "Sara" (from "Desire", 1976) when he painted this erotic woman?
Art critics have been quick to see the influence of German expressionists, especially Kirchner and Max Beckmann, in the bright colours and the bold, dark contours. Three variations of "Corner Flat" depict three different men of different ages in the same environment. They all look sad and introverted, and they don't seem to notice what's going on outside the (hotel?) room. Are they a metaphor for Dylan's "lonesome hobo" on "John Wesley Harding" (1967)?
The exhibition ends with three variations of "Train Tracks" which trail away to the horizon, like the trains and journeys running through so many of Dylan's lyrics.
Overall, Dylan's portraits and nudes seem clear and calm, but his interiors and landscapes often radiate a certain chaos and restlessness. He's got the measure of other people, it's the universe that worries him. That fits with the musician whose most evocative lyric is still probably this one:
"How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?"
("The Drawn Blank Series" until February 3rd 2008 at Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Theaterplatz 1, 09111 Chemnitz. Tel.: +49-371-488 44 24.)


Henning hopefully we shall walk around the paintings together holding hands before the exhibition closes in February.
I will make arrangements with you next month in Verona.

Ta Ken
Solitudine non é essere soli, é amare gli altri inutilmente - Mario Stefani
User avatar
Henning
Posts: 1328
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2002 1:49 pm
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: Cohen/Dylan dichotomy

Post by Henning » Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:37 am

Yes, Uncle Ken, I will go with you. I'm a good boy. Even though I think that Dylans music is crap there might be a chance that his paintings show his real talent.
IT'S DARKER NOW
1979: Frankfurt | 1980: Frankfurt | 1985: Wiesbaden - Munich | 1988: Munich - Nuremberg | 1993: Frankfurt
2008: Dublin - Manchester - Amsterdam - Loerrach - Berlin - Frankfurt - Oberhausen - London
2009: Cologne - Barcelona | 2010: Wiesbaden - Dortmund
2012: Ghent - Moenchengladbach - Verona - Lisbon | 2013: Oberhausen - Mannheim - Pula
User avatar
liverpoolken
Posts: 3174
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 11:25 pm

Re: Cohen/Dylan dichotomy

Post by liverpoolken » Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:29 pm

Henning it's looks like are in for a treat when we visit Chemnitz.


The art world is starting to get quite excited about our hero's paintings.

Who needs overpriced doodles when we have our very own Bob to feed our artistic thirst.

I just hope that a bout of schwellenangst doesn't descend over you as we walk hand in hand into the gallery.


From today's Guardian newspaper:-

The Drawn Blank series is attracting inquisitive art lovers and Dylan fans from far and wide and is quite a coup for Chemnitz, a small city 164 miles south of Berlin, which was known as Karl-Marx-Stadt in the dreary days of communism. Not since Mössinger brought the international show Picasso and Women here five years ago has there been such excitement in a place with a reputation as a rundown, rustbelt town - not, in fact, unlike the place of Dylan's childhood, the mining town of Hibbing in Minnesota.

The show does not disappoint and the critical response has, so far, been positive. Some critics have even gone as far as to compare Dylan to Munch and Matisse, as well as to the German expressionists Max Beckmann and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, for his dark lines and bold colours. Edward Hopper has also been cited in the way in which it is the objects for the paintings that speak - the ships, bicycles, train tracks and bulbous TV screens - rather than the people, who are often portrayed as silent and anonymous, like the formless Guitar Player.

"The pictures that are on show would also be worth viewing even if Bob Dylan had never sung a note or written a line of poetry," declared Burkhard Müller, art critic for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, in a swift riposte to those who might say that it is only because the artist is Bob Dylan that people are paying any attention.

Dylan once said that music is the only thing that is in tune with the present. Tobias Rüther, of the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper, even credits him with transferring his songs on to canvas. "That which he's done for years on the stage - performing new versions of his old songs in order to give a fresh interpretation - he's now continuing on deckle-edged paper in Chemnitz," he says.

Mössinger has received thousands of requests from people wanting to buy the works. "I am delighted we've attracted a completely different audience than normal," she says.

What the audience will see is life through the eyes of a laconic American who has himself been part of his country's narrative for decades, always peering in from the edge. His works are of chance encounters and spaces - like the Man On a Bridge, tangled up in a big blue coat the size of an alpine scene who is lost in his thoughts, or Statue of Liberty, a mock version of the iconic American image in an amusement park on Coney Island, cradling a newspaper with the headline: "Rape is not sex." There are copious hotel rooms and views from hotel rooms of carparks, or street scenes.

Nearly all of the paintings seem to express what the Germans succinctly refer to as schwellenangst - the fear of entering a place. "Again and again Dylan paints from passageways," says Rüther. "In doorframes, window sills, on balconies and verandas, in portholes, half in, half out - maybe it's symbolic of the fact that Dylan is wary of stepping into the realm of the fine arts, a shy respect that is quite sympathetic."

Dylan began drawing after taking lessons from New York teacher Norman Raeben in the 60s following a serious motorcycle accident. In his Chronicles, published in 2004, he wrote: "What would I draw? Well, I guess I would start with whatever was at hand. I sat at the table, took out a pencil and paper and drew the typewriter, a crucifix, a rose, pencils, knives and pins, empty cigarette boxes. I'd lose track of time completely ... Not that I thought I was any great drawer, but I did feel like I was putting an orderliness to the chaos around." He later went on to draw some of his own record covers.

The Drawn Blank series, Dylan has said, was done in order to relax and refocus a mind which was packed with the impressions of touring - a journey towards the idea that "someday, everything is gonna be smooth like a rhapsody". Dylan seems to be following the idea of the German expressionists who believed that a creator should vent his emotions without being restricted by societal norms and dogmas.

Woman In Red Lion Pub, sketched while on tour in Blackpool in 1992, embodies that expressionism. Viewed from behind, in a luxuriant dress, the curvaceous woman appears to swing her hips erotically as she waits for a drink at the bar. Just Like a Woman (from Blonde On Blonde) comes to mind in another reminder that it's hard to separate his paintings from his music.

Corner Flat shows three men at different stages of life in the same flat at different times - or different flats in the same block, it is not clear. They are surely Dylan's lonesome hobo or his Mr Jones, asking: "Is this where it is?"

But the most striking images are those that show empty rooms, such as Lakeside Cabin. It reminds us of Dylan's mantra: stick to the reality that is in front of your eyes. A seemingly mundane scene, the outside world has been shut out by drawn blinds, the television is turned off and the image is one of tranquillity. But again, the objects are the subject, while the lonely human is not in the picture at all but is viewing the scene from the corner of the room.

"Great paintings should be [found] where people hang out," Dylan once said. "Just think how many people would really feel great if they could see a Picasso in their daily diner."

There is something ironic about the fact that the icon of the protest movement who would once have done away with galleries should now be relishing the experience of showing in one himself.

But whether the shy artist will visit his own exhibition or not is anyone's guess. "I sent him an invitation last week and I'm waiting for a reply," Mössinger says. He may have the chance to see the exhibition in South Korea, Stockholm or New York, where, with Dylan's approval, it is likely to go next.

Yet Mössinger says she is fully prepared for the fact that he might well come in disguise and that even she, the woman who made it happen, might not get wind of his visit.

"Wouldn't that be funny?" she says. "But it would also sort of fit in with this whole strange fairytale."

· The Drawn Blank series runs at the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz until February 3, 2008

Ta Ken
Solitudine non é essere soli, é amare gli altri inutilmente - Mario Stefani
rodrigogallardo
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 10:04 pm
Location: Chile

Re: Cohen/Dylan dichotomy

Post by rodrigogallardo » Sun Nov 18, 2007 1:13 am

look at their faces, what can we found on their eyes to make us said they are the same kind of mans? A lot of things may I say

I love them both.
User avatar
friscogrl
Posts: 2411
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:07 am
Location: San Francisco, Ca.

Re: Cohen/Dylan dichotomy

Post by friscogrl » Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:33 am

There definetlyare comparisons to Dylan and Cohen. Both started as poets then became folk singers. Then each one evolved their music and and remained relevant with their music and lyrics. Both are creative geniuses and both of their voices became deep and seasoned with time
2008 Toronto June 6/ 2009 New York Feb 19 Oakland April 13 14 Coachella April 17 Ottawa May 25 26 Barcelona Sept 21 Las Vegas 11/12 San Jose 11/13
2010 Malmo Aug 4 Gothenburg Aug 12 Las Vegas Dec 10 & 11
2012 Verona 9/24 San Jose 11/7. Montreal 11/28 11/29/ 2013 Oakland 3/2 NYC 4/6
Hamilton 4/9
User avatar
lizzytysh
Posts: 25387
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Florida, U.S.A.

Re: Cohen/Dylan dichotomy

Post by lizzytysh » Tue Dec 04, 2007 5:40 pm

Hi Friscogrl ~

Great comparisons. I think I've finally laid comparisons to rest, as I always find myself delighted when I hear Dylan's voice [singing, speaking, or being quoted or discussed] come on the radio. I get a sense of the same 'vibrant release' that I felt when I first heard him so many years ago. It just doesn't serve any great purpose to compare negatively.

Great first post! Welcome :D .


~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
User avatar
friscogrl
Posts: 2411
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:07 am
Location: San Francisco, Ca.

Re: Cohen/Dylan dichotomy

Post by friscogrl » Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:40 am

Thanks lizzy
2008 Toronto June 6/ 2009 New York Feb 19 Oakland April 13 14 Coachella April 17 Ottawa May 25 26 Barcelona Sept 21 Las Vegas 11/12 San Jose 11/13
2010 Malmo Aug 4 Gothenburg Aug 12 Las Vegas Dec 10 & 11
2012 Verona 9/24 San Jose 11/7. Montreal 11/28 11/29/ 2013 Oakland 3/2 NYC 4/6
Hamilton 4/9
evelyn
Posts: 252
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2002 6:15 am
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Re: Cohen/Dylan dichotomy

Post by evelyn » Fri Dec 07, 2007 3:33 am

I love them both, why compare them?
It's like comparing apples and oranges, they are very different.

Schwellenangst - I love that word! I visualize a little two year old peeking his head in a doorway.

evelyn
jill
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 7:52 pm

Re: Cohen/Dylan dichotomy

Post by jill » Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:53 am

Whatever you think about Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan, it appears to me that they respect each other.

In one of Leonard's interviews he remarks with pride that he met up with Dylan in Paris and showed him "Halleujah" and that Dylan particularly liked the last verse.
I think Dylan sang it in some of his concerts.

Bob Dylan, on the other hand, quotes Leonard Cohen in a rolling stone interview in Nov. 1978:

Q: Do you agree with Octavio Paz' idea that "all of us are alone, because all of us are two"?

A.: I can't disagree, but I've got to think that there's more than two. Didn't Leonard Cohen sing something like, "I'm the one who goes from nothing to two"? I don't remember.

Q: We're back to numbers.

A: Leonard Cohen was really interested in numbers. "I'm the one who goes from nothing to one."
User avatar
lizzytysh
Posts: 25387
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Florida, U.S.A.

Re: Cohen/Dylan dichotomy

Post by lizzytysh » Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:55 am

Hi Jill ~

Great to see you!

Bob was right that he didn't remember. This is the lyric from Leonard's song "You Know Who I Am":
well I am the one who loves changing from nothing to one
It seems Bob agrees with it.


~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
Manna
Posts: 1998
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 6:51 am
Location: Where clouds go to die

Re: Cohen/Dylan dichotomy

Post by Manna » Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:59 am

1 + 1 = 3

this is the obvious truth.
sebmelmoth2003
Posts: 978
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:41 pm

the times they are a-changin'

Post by sebmelmoth2003 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:42 pm

will leonard's lyrics turn up at auction some time, do you think?

...Bob Dylan's hand-written lyrics to the 1960s anthem "The Times They Are A-Changin" will hit the auction block next month and could sell for more than a quarter-million dollars, Sotheby's said on Tuesday...

http://www.billboard.com/news/bob-dylan ... 2743.story
sebmelmoth2003
Posts: 978
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:41 pm

word of mouth - bob dylan deconstructed

Post by sebmelmoth2003 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:47 pm

word of mouth - bbc radio 4

...Dylanologist Michael Gray explains why Bob matters. A sceptical David Quantick argues that Dylan's influence was not entirely helpful to rock music. And singer-songwriter KT Tunstall pays tribute to one of her biggest influences.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00x3yjn
denise knowles
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:56 am

Re: Cohen/Dylan dichotomy

Post by denise knowles » Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:08 pm

I'm not a big Dylan fan, but I have always thought ' With God On Our Side' is his most potent song, still ring true with all the warmongers today. Happy 2011 every one.
User avatar
jmudrick
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:59 am
Location: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Contact:

Re: Cohen/Dylan dichotomy

Post by jmudrick » Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:32 pm

liverpoolken wrote:Joney

Nothing personal but anyone who uses a cat as an avatar is most definitely never going to appreciate Bob Dylan.

Ta Ken
Image

Bob played "Bird on a Wire" on his radio show, season 2, episode 21.

Love em both. Bob appeals to my intellect, Leonard to my soul.
Jeff
Garage Bar
#9 Street 110
Phnom Penh
Post Reply

Return to “Comments & Questions”