Bob Dylan: Face Value †

THIS EVENT ENDED ON THE 5TH JANUARY 2014

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Face Value comprises of 12 pastel portraits of 'characters' constructed from Bob Dylan's memories and imagination. On display at the National Portrait Gallery, they represent his first museum showing in Great Britain.
Having sold approximately 110 million records, the iconoclastic singer-songwriter has increasingly turned to another artistic medium. Despite sketching for most of his life, Dylan only took up painting in the 1960s and exhibited his artwork for the first time six years ago.
The roughly sketched portraits demand to be taken at face value, as the exhibition name suggests, and there is all but no accompanying blurb. The characters stare directly out of the frames in a way that is both enigmatic and confrontational. They have theatrical names such as Skip Sharpe and Red Flanagan, and are accompanied by titles such as 'Losing face' or 'Face off'. Dylan gives them expressions that are nuanced yet evocative: a slight squint in one eye, pursed lips or perhaps a faintly creased brow. In doing so, he invites the viewer to act as co-creators and invent their own narratives for the characters.

About National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery houses portraits of significant figures from the late 15th century to the present day. This isn't the place to come for serious works of exceptional artistic merit - the overriding aim of the National Portrait Gallery is to reflect the status of the sitter, not the artist - but where else in London could you hope to find The Beatles, Henry VIII, Sir Richard Branson and JK Rowling all hanging out together? The appeal of this gallery (opened in 1856) rests simply in its comprehensive commemoration of British history from the late 15th century to the present day through the medium of portraiture. More about National Portrait Gallery


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City Thameslink Station
21 minutes walk
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St Martins Lane NCP
2 minutes walk
Leicester Square Masterpark
3 minutes walk

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Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire Hotel
London > Hotels > Luxury Chain Hotel † from £119† 30% off
Leicester Square, WC2H | 1 minute from Bob Dylan: Face Value
Overlooking Leicester Square - the setting for London's regular film premieres - the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire has glamorous, exclusive décor to match its high-profile setting: ... More
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London > Events > Concerts †Dates: 27th February to 14th March 2017
London Coliseum - English National Opera (ENO), St Martin's Lane, WC2N | 2 minutes from Bob Dylan: Face Value
The ENO presents a world premiere of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. The tale of love, loss and reconciliation sees the King of Sicilia mistakenly believe that ...More
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London > Events > Theatre †Dates: 27th May to 13th August 2016
Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, SW1A | 4 minutes from Bob Dylan: Face Value
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Apollo Theatre, 29 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D | 5 minutes from Bob Dylan: Face Value
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24-26 Leicester Square, Soho, London WC2H | 2 minutes from Bob Dylan: Face Value
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London > Entertainment > Comedy Clubs
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St Martin's Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2N | 2 minutes from Bob Dylan: Face Value
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London > Attractions > Art Galleries
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Trafalgar Square, Westminster, London WC2N | 1 minute from Bob Dylan: Face Value
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London > Attractions > Historic Buildings
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London > Shopping > Art and Design
6 Cecil Court, Covent Garden, London WC2N | 2 minutes from Bob Dylan: Face Value
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London > Shopping > Specialists
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London > Shopping > Food and Drink Shops
The Empire, 5-6 Leicester Square, Soho, London WC2H | 3 minutes from Bob Dylan: Face Value
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London > Restaurants > Cafes and Delis
Trafalgar Square, Westminster, London WC2N | 1 minute from Bob Dylan: Face Value
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London > Restaurants > British restaurants
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London > Education > English Language Courses
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London > Education > Cookery Courses
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London > Education > Universities and Colleges
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London > Nightlife > Wine Bars
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