Thornton Dial

Thoughts on Paper

January 12 through March 17, 2013

On view in the Goldman, Richard, and Rushton Stakely Galleries


Since the early 1990s, Thornton Dial (b.1928) of Birmingham, Alabama, has produced a rich body of lyrical works on paper, often engaged with themes of gender and human relationships. Focusing on the very earliest of those drawings, the exhibition featured a group of 50 sheets with Dial’s characteristic and broadly coherent iconography of women, fish, birds, roosters, and tigers, rendered in a variety of media. This pioneering exhibition presented an underappreciated side to the work of Dial an artist best known and celebrated for his large scale, multi-media assemblages dealing with a wide range of charged social and political themes.

Above: Photograph of the 2013 installation of the exhibition at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

Thornton Dial’s works on paper often engage with themes of gender and human relationships.


Organized and circulated by the Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with funding in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Frey Foundation, and the William Hayes Ackland Trust.


Local support for this exhibition was provided by the Alabama Humanities Foundation.

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