Bob Dylan doesn’t look back – he’s elusive, poetic, an artist’s artist – and he’s always in motion. He doesn’t readily put forth details about his personal life or his music. Director D.A. Pennebaker is often described as the pre-eminent chronicler of sixties counterculture. His film, Dont Look Back, filmed in 1965 and released in 1967, reveals Dylan as vulnerable, fiery, and grappling with the demands of the media and his fans while he struggles to push his artistry forward.
On Friday, May 20th, Morrison Hotel Gallery – located at 116 Prince Street – along with esteemed curator of immersive, retrospective events Joseph Baldassare – will present a rare and revelatory exploration in images from this formative time.
“As I was looking back on D.A. Pennebaker’s enduring documentary, Dont Look Back, which follows a young Bob Dylan emerging into worldwide prominence as the singer/songwriter of his generation, I was reminded throughout the film that Dylan asks his audience and not the media to interpret his songs for themselves,” MHG co-founder Peter Blachley reflects. “Our gallery is very proud to present the images from this classic film. I’m most excited to present this show to people who may have never experienced of the music of Bob Dylan, so beautiful and intimately captured by D.A. Pennebaker.”
The exhibit celebrates the 50-year anniversary of this iconic movie – a movie that brings together an already iconic artist and a filmmaker who was in the process of revolutionizing the documentary. The show is thoughtfully curated and produced by industry vet Joseph Baldassare – in conjunction with MHG – and has the distinction of being the first gallery exhibit of Pennebaker’s work. The show features original movie posters and 18 choice image stills from the film, printed from the enhanced negative. Pennebaker, 90, will be at the opening reception, and to this day, he remains a vital cultural force. He recently screened his newest documentary, Unlocking The Cage, at The Sundance Film Festival, which will air on HBO later this year
“This exhibition at Morrison Hotel Gallery is a celebration of the artistry of both D.A Pennebaker and Bob Dylan – two pioneers that have shaped the way we see, hear and think,” says Joseph Baldassare about the exhibit.
Included in the exhibition are small editions of 10 prints of each that are signed and numbered by Pennebaker and available for purchase. Each purchased print includes a multiple image, original filmstrip from the Dont Look Back film, in a specially designed protective sleeve. Several original movie posters, which are 50 years old, will be part of the exhibit and for sale as well. As a big treat for Dylan fans, Hohner Harmonicas has issued a signature series harmonica that is hand signed and played by Bob Dylan, and packaged in a handsome wooden case available for purchase at the exhibit.
The film Dont Look Back chronicles Dylan’s 1965 tour of England and features a cast of characters including Joan Baez, Dylan’s manager Albert Grossman, his road manager Bob Neuwirth, Marianne Faithfull, John Mayall, and Allen Ginsberg. It showcases a cocksure but charismatic young Dylan. It’s a culturally weighty documentary that shows Dylan’s impact on his peers, the press, and offers glimpses into Dylan coming to terms with international stardom. It also includes stunning musical performance footage, including the ground-breaking music video for Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” The film made its public debut on May 17, 1967, at the Presidio Theater in San Francisco, and opened that September at the 34th Street East Theater in New York.In 1998, The United States National Film Registry recognized the film for its cultural significance. It has also been voted in the top ten of many film documentary polls.
Says Pennebaker of the iconic film – “This exhibition is a tribute to a film that 50 years ago I couldn’t get theatrical distributors to sit through the 2nd reel. Go figure.”
D.A. Pennebaker, is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of cinema verite filmmaking. In 2013, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized his body of work with an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement. Pennebaker’s work spans generations and cultural phenomena – from the legendary 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, to Bill Clinton’s 1992 Presidential campaign, to his current film, co-directed with Chris Hegedus, (his collaborator since the late 70s), Unlocking The Cage, which follows animal rights lawyer, Steven Wise and his lawsuit seeking personhood for a chimpanzee.
Joseph Baldassareis a distinguished entertainment business veteran with a multi-faceted career that includes creative and entrepreneurial roles. Since 2012, together, with his company Arthouse18, Joseph has curated and produced events highlighted by themed photographic exhibitions of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, Chicago Blues, Hollywood star maker George Hurrell, Separate Cinema (with a book signing by John Kisch and Spike Lee), his annual Best of Broadway hosted by Patti LuPone, and most recently a Bob Dylan retrospective celebrating him as a style icon of the 1960’s. Media sponsors for his events and exhibits have included the likes of The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Esquire Magazine.
About Morrison Hotel® Gallery
Morrison Hotel® Gallery (MHG) was founded in 2001 by former record company executive Peter Blachley, music retail industry professional Richard Horowitz, and legendary music photographer Henry Diltz. In 2012, author, director and photographer Timothy White joined the team, launching an additional West Coast gallery at The Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood.
MHG is the world’s leading brand in fine art music photography representing over 100 of the world’s finest music photographers and their archives. Their vast catalog of photography encompasses jazz, blues, and rock imagery spanning several generations through to today’s contemporary music artists and now includes iconic photographs in the world of sports as well. MHG has a robust online presence, featuring over 100,000 images searchable by photographer, music artist, band or concert.