- Associated Press - Thursday, September 2, 2010

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK (AP) - Denmark’s National Gallery is displaying 40 acrylic paintings by Bob Dylan that have never before been shown to the public.

Curator Kasper Monrad said the paintings in Dylan’s “Brazil Series” were specifically made for the Danish exhibition, which opens Friday.

The collection includes figurative scenes from Brazilian slums, farms and beaches. The 69-year-old folk singer sketched the scenes during visits to the South American country and then painted them on canvas in a studio.

“I chose Brazil as a subject, because I have been there many times and I like the atmosphere,” Dylan said in a statement released by the museum Thursday.

Dylan told the museum very little about the process of creating the paintings, Monrad said.

“We don’t even know whether he actually saw what he painted or only saw photographs of it,” he said.

Dylan was not at Thursday’s presentation of the exhibition, which runs through Jan. 30.

The Copenhagen museum, which has a large collection of paintings by French painter Henri Matisse, contacted Dylan in 2008 after seeing the catalog for his 2007 exhibition of watercolors in Germany, museum director Karsten Ohrt said.

Both the “Brazil Series” and Dylan’s watercolors are rooted in Matisse, Ohrt said.

Dylan is best known for 1960s classics, such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They are a-Changin,” which became anthems for a generation dealing with social and political turmoil.

Monrad said Dylan’s music and art were “complementary.”

“This is a different kind of imagery. The paintings and the music are two different worlds,” he said.

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Online: http://www.smk.dk/en/explore-the-art/exhibitions/current-exhibitions/bob-dylan/