OPENING RECEPTION & LECTURE BY PAUL BARRETT - THORNTON DIAL
Thornton Dial was born in 1928 to a sharecropping family in rural Alabama. He drew inspiration from his life experiences, blending complex themes like Civil Rights, race, class, and family into sophisticated arrangements crafted with found objects—everything from bones, wood, toys, metal, and clothing. His assemblages, although compactly layered with commonplace fragments of life, move with a lightness, pulling the viewer in to explore the cracks and crevices of the varied surface. His aesthetic was not limited to sculptural constructions; Dial’s masterful drawings and paintings demonstrate his deft hand at composition and line, through the exploration of reoccurring motifs, often women and tigers, a symbol of himself, in swirling masses of shapes and color.