Thornton Dial: Rough Road Through the Beautiful Life
August 22 through November 01, 2015
Over the past three decades, Thornton Dial has proven to be an astute observer of American life. His commentaries on issues of race, class, culture, labor, and love rival de Tocqueville’s in restless pursuit of the peculiar paradox that is the American experiment. At the same time, Dial has offered up a remarkable portrait of his America—a land that remains for many of his fellow countrymen terra incognita.
In the last three years, Dial, now 85, has produced some of the most personal, introspective, and philosophical work of his career. His canvases have become at once more intimate and more expansive—suffused with the immediacy of sensation and the ethereal quality of memory. They span the arc of Dial’s life, from his childhood in rural Emelle, Alabama, to the factory life that would supplant so much of agrarian life in the South, to his life as a full-time artist.
Thornton Dial (American, born 1928), Angel of the New Green Pasture, 2012, mixed media , Lent by the artist