On Thursday, November 6 the Andrew Weiss Gallery in the historic Bergamot Station of Santa Monica held the opening night VIP reception to the first West Coast exhibition of Bob Dylan’s The Drawn Blank Series, with the launch of the 2014 collection consisting of eight new edition-end works. Following worldwide critical acclaim and unprecedented demand, a new collection of eight signed limited-edition prints were unveiled that day. This exhibition, which also includes three examples of Dylan’s originals, is a comprehensive and authoritative collection of his art. While Dylan has been a committed visual artist for more than five decades, The Drawn Blank Series shines a vibrant new light on the creative genius of one of the world’s most important and influential cultural figures. After the exhibition opening night reception ended, a portion of the proceeds was donated to help P. S. Arts, a non-profit organization, whose mission is to improve the lives of children by providing arts education to under-served public schools and communities.
Based on drawings and sketches made by Dylan while traveling on tour between 1989 and 1992, the exclusive and limited edition prints in The Drawn Blank Series visually evoke the stylistic hallmarks of Dylan’s entire musical career. In 1994, this collection of drawings was published in a book entitled “Drawn Blank”. Just as Dylan’s songs are constantly replayed and rediscovered through his live performances, so these artworks remind us of the images and scenes which were captured in all their urgency by the artist’s experiences and observations. Dylan chronicled his life on the road: in between shows, on trains, in cafes, and backstage. These artworks that are portraits, interiors, landscapes, still lives, nudes and street scenes depict his everyday observations, his thoughts and his vision.
When Dylan had first drawn the works in this series he had intended to create paintings based upon them. Ingrid Mossinger, the curator of the Kunnstsammlungen Museum in Germany, encouraged Dylan to transform his drawings into paintings using watercolor and gouache. Dylan finally realized what he had envisioned for his drawings many years ago.
These paintings formed a collection entitled “The Drawn Blank Series”. Unlike the delicacy of the drawings in ” Drawn Blank” the paintings are expressive and vibrant. Dylan paints several versions of the same image, using different colors and tones that result in a dynamic variety of impressions, feelings and emotions.
This choice and skill in applying different color arrangements to the same original drawing enables Dylan to express his feelings and perceptions of an idea or view – continually evoking different feelings and reactions, and thereby creating evolving works of art. This technique is intrinsic to Dylan in all aspects of his creative life. Dylan is credited to successfully translate his songs into art as commented by Tobias Ruther of Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper.
Specializing for over four decades in the works of the 20th century masters of fine art such as Picasso, Chagall, Miro, and Dali, the Andrew Weiss Gallery offers an extensive collection of original paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture and ceramics to its exclusive international private clientele, and galleries worldwide. In addition, the gallery also specializes in Hollywood fine photography that spans forty years, from the beginning of Hollywood in 1920 to the Golden Era of the 1930’s and into the Classic Film Period of the 1950’s and 60’s. When it comes to Hollywood photography, the Andrew Weiss Gallery has the world’s largest collection of Marilyn Monroe original photographs by the most famous photographers of her time, from her very first to her very last photos. Located in Santa Monica, California, this gallery is the latest of four earlier locations in major cities nationally including Beverly Hills, CA, Palm Beach, FL, Miami, FL, and New York City, NY.
What is the most rewarding aspect about working in Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station? Located on eight acres in the heart of Santa Monica, Bergamot Station is Southern California’s largest art gallery complex and cultural center. The facility features contemporary art galleries, The Santa Monica Museum of Art, architecture and design firms, a café, and a frame shop. Bergamot Station is the historical name for the site on which the gallery complex is located, dating back to 1875 when it was a stop for the Red Line trolley running from Los Angeles to the Santa Monica Pier.
Since its launch on September 17, 1994, Bergamot Station has become a popular destination for visitors from around the country and the world. Bergamot Station provides a central location which allows visitors to park in one place and spend the day seeing art, and not spending time driving from one gallery to the next. It now appears in every guide to Los Angeles as a primary cultural destination, with well over 600,000 visitors each year.
Nestled in the building D4 is the Andrew Weiss Gallery where the exhibition is now on view to the public from November 7, 2014 through January 3, 2015. As the entry to the gallery is made, one becomes totally motivated by huge white walls, bright lighting, and the experience of the alluring artworks hanging on the wall that offer a whole new dimension to Bob Dylan’s mind, up-close and personal.
A third generation art dealer, Andrew Weiss is the owner of the gallery and a founding member of the IFAA, International Fine Art Appraisers, and well renowned worldwide for his ability. While ten years of active fine art experience is the minimum requirement for consideration for membership in the IFAA organization, Andrew far exceeds those standards. That said, the Andrew Weiss Gallery sells only the finest of Modern and Contemporary masterworks. As stated by Andrew, “It really goes beyond simply selling art. I am committed to holding the highest professional standards and appraisal methodology with each business interaction undertaken.”
Growing up Andrew’s grandfather was a picture frame manufacturer. His parents opened the first frame shop and art gallery in the town of Hempstead, in Long Island, New York. The frame shop had been there for thirty years until Andrew’s father passed away when Andrew was only 16 years old. Born with the passion for the arts, at the age of 18, Andrew answered an ad for a sales job at an art publishing company in New York Times. In later years, Andrew educated himself on the aspect of the business and the surroundings of the art inspired him more than anyone in the family business.
Lastly, when asked about the inspiration behind the exhibition on Bob Dylan’s The Drawn Blank Series, Andrew Weiss replied. “I have been in the city of Beverly Hills for thirteen years before moving to Santa Monica and acquiring the spacious, warehouse-size building in the Bergamot Station, which gives me the opportunity to produce big exhibitions of this caliber and has such a historical context for its site. Another reason is the fact that Halcyon Gallery in London is the publisher of Bob Dylan’s works with whom they have worked in the past to produce a world-class exhibition that translates to global audience.”
The Andrew Weiss Gallery is very unique in the sense that it displays only exceptional and original artworks not found elsewhere, while most of the galleries in the Bergamot Station are known for digital prints and contemporary artworks. The experience you get when viewing such depth of originality is nothing short of breathtaking.