Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan - biography

Born on 24 May in Duluth, Minnesota, in the USA. Grows up in Duluth and Hibbing, Minnesota.

“My drawing instructor in high school lectured and demonstrated continuously to “draw only what you can see” so that if you were at a loss for words, something could be explained and even more importantly, not misunderstood. Rather fantasize, be real and draw it only if it is in front of you and if it’s not there, put it there.”

Enrolls at the University of Minnesota.

Moves to Greenwich Village, New York.

Starts to draw.

“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 and knives and pins, empty cigarette boxes. I’d lose track of time completely. An hour or two could go by and it would seem like only a minute. Not that I thought that I was any great drawer, but I did feel like I was putting an orderliness to the chaos around […] In a strange way I noticed that it purified the experience of my eye and I would make drawings of my own for years to come.”

Releases his first album, Bob Dylan.

Cover: "Bob Dylan"

Cover: "Bob Dylan"

Releases the album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan featuring the songs Blowin’ in The Wind and Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.

Performs Blowin’ in The Wind and Only a Pawn in Their Game at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the historic civil rights rally at which Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his famous I Have a Dream speech.

”A new world of art was opening up my mind. Sometimes early in the day we’d go uptown to the city museums, see giant oil-painted canvases by artists like Velázquez, Goya, Delacroix, Rubens, El Greco. Also twentieth-century stuff – Picasso, Braque, Kandinsky, Rouault, Bonnard.”

Releases the album The Times They Are a-Changin’.

Arrives in England to begin a British tour, which will be immortalised in filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker’s documentary Don’t Look Back.

Dylan angers folk purists and excites others by performing a set of electric rock’n’roll at the Newport Folk Festival with backup by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

Releases the album Bringing It All Back Home, featuring the song Mr. Tambourine Man, and the album Highway 61 Revisited, featuring the song Like a Rolling Stone.

Moves upstate New York.    

Releases the album Blonde On Blonde, featuring the song Just Like a Woman.

Creates a painting for the cover of the The Band’s album Music from Big Pink

Cover: "Music from Big Pink"

Cover: "Music from Big Pink"

Cover: Self-Portrait

Cover: Self-Portrait

Creates a painting for the cover of his album Self-Portrait.  

”Staring at the blank canvas for a while encouraged me to blindfoldedly make a picture that would paste all the songs together between the sleeves […] It wasn’t my purpose to paint my own picture.”

Dylan’s surreal experimental novel Tarantula, written five years earlier, is finally published.

Receives honorary doctorate of music from Princeton University.

Arrives in Mexico to begin shooting his acting debut in Sam Peckinpah’s revisionist western Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, for which he writes Knockin’ on Heavens Door.

Cover: "Writings and Drawings"

Cover: "Writings and Drawings"

Releases the book Writings and Drawings.

Cover: "Planet Waves"

Cover: "Planet Waves"

Creates a drawing for the cover of the album Planet Waves.

Moves from upstate New York to the Los Angeles area.

Receives tuition from the painter Norman Raeben (1901-78) in New York during the early summer months.

“I had the good fortune to meet a man in New York City who taught me how to see. He put my mind and my hand and my eye together in a way that allowed me to do consciously what I unconsciously felt.”

Releases the album Blood On The Tracks featuring the songs Simple Twist of Fate and Tangled Up In Blue.

Releases the album, Desire, featuring Hurricane.

Dylan’s directional debut, Renaldo and Clara, assembled from over 80 hours of footage
shot on the first Rolling Thunder tour, is released theatrically.

Releases the album Slow Train Coming.

“The first exhibition I saw at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was of Gauguin paintings
and I found I could stand in front of any one of them for as long as I'd sit at the movies, yet
not get tired on my feet. I'd lose all sense of time. It was an intriguing thing.”

Releases the album Oh Mercy.

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

Creates a number of drawings on tours of the USA, Europe, and Asia. The drawings are later published in the book Drawn Blank.

Receives the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammy Awards Ceremony in NY.

Cover: "Drawn Blank"

Cover: "Drawn Blank"

Issues Drawn Blank, his first published works of art. The book contains 92 pencil and ink drawings.

Releases the album Time Out Of Mind for which he receives the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

Is awarded the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, presented by the photographer Richard Avedon in N.Y.

Receives The Kennedy Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Washington D.C.

Receives The Polar Music Prize in Stockholm.

Releases the album Love and Theft.

Wins a Golden Globe and an Academy Award (Oscar) for his song Things Have Changed from the film Wonderboys from 2000.

The film Masked and Anonymous, starring and co-written by Dylan, premieres at the Sundance Film Festival.

Is awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

“Lyrics 1982-2001”, the complete collection of song texts by Dylan, is published.

Releases the autobiography Chronicles, Volume 1.

Martin Scorsese’s long-awaited Dylan documentary No Direction Home premieres.

“An artist has got to be careful never really to arrive at a place where he thinks he’s ”at” somewhere. You always have to realize that you’re constantly in the state of becoming, you know? And as long as you can stay in that realm, you’ll sort of be all right.”

Releases the album Modern Times which debuts at # 1 on the Billboard charts in the United States and in the Top 10 in over 15 countries.

Dylan’s award-winning radio show, Theme Time Radio Hour, is aired on the XM satellite network, gathering close to 2 million listeners an episode.

Creates the watercolours for The Drawn Blank Series.

Exhibits The Drawn Blank Series at Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Germany.

Exhibits The Drawn Blank Series at the Halcyon Gallery, London.

Is awarded a Special Citation Pulitzer Prize for his “profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power”.

Releases the album Together Through Life.

Creates paintings featuring motifs from The Drawn Blank Series; the paintings are subsequently exhibited at the Halcyon Gallery, London.

Creates the paintings for The Brazil Series.

Exhibits The Brazil Series at National Gallery of Denmark.

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Updated: 26.apr.2018
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