Bob Dylan Goes Metal – Mood Swings at the Halcyon Gallery

14 November 2013 § Leave a comment

Opening today at the Halcyon Gallery Mood Swings is Bob Dylan’s latest foray in to the visual arts.  It seems that he is now a sculptural artist, adding to his previous output of graphic prints – unkind observers might call it ‘colouring-in’ – with an exhibition of iron gates, objects and car doors.

Bob Dylan Mood Swings

These gates and other objects are apparently the outcome of the artist’s ‘lifelong fascination with welding and metalwork’, a fascination that has taken some 72 years to become known to the world at large. To be fair it seems that he did have at least some involvement with the production of the works as he has been pictured gamely in (strangely clean) white overalls plunging some iron into a brazier and arranging sundry iron objects including tools, chain and scrap metal, on a studio floor. Then again if you are Bob Dylan you can of course do what you want!

Bob Dylan Mood Swings

The work purports to show Dylan’s background and an association with the history of the industrial heartlands of the USA. Having been brought up on Minnesota iron lands he said: “I’ve been around iron all my life ever since I was a kid. I was born and raised in iron ore country – where you could breathe it and smell it every day. And I’ve always worked with it in one form or another.”

Bob Dylan Mood Swings

He said the gates appealed because of “the negative space they allow”, adding: “They can be closed but at the same time they allow the seasons and breezes to enter and flow. They can shut you out or shut you in. And in some ways there is no difference.”


The exhibition also includes paintings and riddled with bullet holes riddled car doors, each named after depression era rogue like Al Capone. Alongside are pastiche covers of iconic magazines such as Life and Rolling Stone.

Bob Dylan Mood Swings

The works are competent and of passing interest but it is plain to see that they quite simply wouldn’t be here if Dylan was not the musical icon that he is justly considered. They are an improvement on the dreadful Drawn Blank series, which you can check out on Ebay if you want to buy one or perhaps see how Dylan’s works rate as a potential investment. Unless you tend to use Bond Street for casual shopping forays perhaps needing some extra decor for one of the rooms in the east wing (or a new garden gate at £35k) this is for curiosity only.

Bob Dylan Drawn Blank

Bob Dylan Drawn Blank

Bob Dylan Mood Swings runs at the Halcyon Gallery until 25 January 2014.

halcyon gallery, bond street

8 January 2013 § Leave a comment

I say Bond Street, but sadly Halcyon now have three galleries – two in New Bond Street and one in Bruton Street. I won’t try and separate them according to exhibition and so on. I will firstly give them some credit as they were amongst the few galleries to bother to open in the week after New Year but otherwise just one comment – NO! Don’t do it. Pleeeaase.

Some images from their top artists to help you decide. I think you get the drift….




boom or bust for london gallery space?

29 May 2011 § 1 Comment

Jeroen Verhoeven at Blain Southern

Blain|Southern have announced that they will be moving from their rather cramped Dering Street premises in to a new gallery at 5 Hanover Square in May 2012. It is big too. The 12,400 sq ft area is one of the largest in London – only Hauser & Wirth are more extensive. Just behind them in the size chart incidentally, is Haunch of Venison, Harry Blain‘s old gallery which he recently left. Both have excellent current exhibitions well worth seeing – my reviews hopefully to come soon.


Richard Long at Haunch of Venison

So how is the downturn affecting London galleries? Hauser & Wirth’s huge new space only opened the end of last year,  Halcyon Gallery are opening a new gallery soon at 144 New Bond Street, SumarriaLunn have just had their opening at 36 South Molton Lane and Gazelli hint at a new space in St James. There are pop-ups galore plus other new galleries and yet few seem to be closing.

Over at Christies et al auction results are back to the (already high) levels seen just before the peak of the market in 2007, the international art fairs report steady results and all the London galleries seem to be surviving or even thriving.
So all is all is rosy then? Has the city’s art market managed to ride out the recession? I suspect it is not quite as hunky dory as it appears, the larger galleries have survived as their wealthy clientelle is less affected whilst smaller ones are surviving on savings from the boom years, international art fairs and a hope of better to come. The big ticket evening sales results are good, whilst the more moderately priced day sales are merely steady. New galleries are coming with new money and not reliant on their past sales.
The near future surely will be a battle with survival only certain for the fittest. I wonder who may not last beyond next year if the forecasts of stagnation in the UK economy are correct?
Jeroen Vehoeven is at Blain Southern,  21 Dering Street, London AS1 1AL until 16 July 2011
Richard Long & Guiseppe Penone are at Haunch of Venison, Burlington Gardens, London W1S 3ET until 20 August 2011

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