Thornton Dial

Born 1928, Emelle, AL

Deceased 2016, McCalla, AL

  • Thornton Dial, “Setting the Table”, 2003, Shoes, gloves, bedding, beaded car-seat cover, cloth carpet, artificial flowers, crushed paint cans, found metal, frying pan, cooking utensils, chain, wood, Splash Zone compound, oil, and enamel on canvas on wood, 75 x 74.5 x 8 inches, 190.5 x 189.2 x 20.3 cm, TD038
  • Thornton Dial, “Art and Nature”, 2011, Ceramic vases, wood, paint cans, tin, metal, and enamel on canvas on wood, 95 1/2 x 71 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches, 242.6 x 181.6 x 14 cm, TD074
  • Thornton Dial, “Two Coats”, 2003, Bedding, coats, found metal, oil, enamel, and spray paint on canvas, 81 x 71 x 9 inches, 205.7 x 180.3 x 22.9 cm, TD019
  • Thornton Dial, “Ground Zero: Decorating the Eye”, 2002, Clothing, enamel, spray paint, and Splash Zone compound on canvas on wood, 76.5 x 108 x 4 inches 194.3 x 274.3 x 10.2 cm, TD017
  • Thornton Dial, “Black Walk”, 2003, Tin, clothing, enamel, spray paint, and Splash Zone compound on canvas on wood, 64 x 96 x 6 inches, 162.6 x 243.8 x 15.2 cm, TD033
  • Thornton Dial, “Lady Know How to Hold the Jungle Cat”, 1990, Oil, rope carpet, wood, plastic film canisters, and industrial sealing compound on canvas mounted on wood, 69.5 x 90/5 x 4 inches, 176.5 x 45.7 x 10.2 cm, TD031
  • Thornton Dial, “The Color of Money: The Jungle of Justice”, 1996, Fabric, shoe, gloves, jigsaw puzzle pieces, artificial flowers and plants, dolls, stuffed animals, rope carpet, toys, cotton, found metal, other found materials, oil, enamel, spray paint, industrial sealing compound, on canvas mounted on wood, 77 x 86 x 12 inches, 195.6 x 218.4 x 30.5 cm, TD015
  • Thornton Dial, “The Top of the World”, 1998, Metal, fabrics, paint can lids, rope, nails, industrial sealing compound, 78 x 50 x 47 inches, 198.1 x 127 x 119.4 cm, TD001
  • Thornton Dial, “Everybody Watches the Tiger”, 1989, Paint, nylon rope, and Splash Zone compound on wooden board, 48 x 96 x .75 inches, 121.9 x 243.8 x 1.9 cm, TD024
  • Thornton Dial, “The Big Black Bowl of Life”, 1993, Oil, enamel on canvas mounted on wood, 65 x 65 inches, 165.1 x 165.1 cm, TD003
  • Thornton Dial, “Picking Up the Pieces”, 2002, Clothing, carpet, enamel, and spray paint on canvas on wood, 95 x 61 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches, 241.3 x 156.2 x 6.4 cm, TD004
  • Thornton Dial, “Untitled [Roses]”, 1999, Carpet, fabric, tin, wood, oil, enamel, spray paint, and Splash Zone compound on canvas on wood, 60 x 48 inches, 152.4 x 121.9 cm, TD029
  • Thornton Dial, “Coming Back Clear”, 2011, 74 x 62 x 9 inches, 188 x 157.5 x 22.9 cm, TD039
  • Thornton Dial, “Understanding the Shadows”, 2013, Wood, metal and mesh with yellow, orchid, gray, blue and pink spray paint, 36 x 48 inches, 91.4 x 121.9 cm, TD042
  • Thornton Dial, “Alone in the Jungle: One Man Sees the Tiger Cat”, 1988, Enamel, rope carpet and industrial sealing compound on wood, 48 x 96 inches, 121.9 x 243.8 cm, TD045
  • Thornton Dial, “Birds Created by Trees and People (Life Go On)”, Watercolor on paper, 30 x 22 1/4 inches, 76.2 x 56.5 cm, TD069
  • Thornton Dial, “Coming Through the Trees”, 1992, Watercolor on paper, 30 1/4 x 22 inches, 76.8 x 55.9 cm, TD047
  • Thornton Dial, “The Rooster Looks Around”, 1992, Watercolor on paper, 30 x 22 1/4 inches, 76.2 x 56.5 cm, TD048
  • Thornton Dial, “Going and Coming”, 1992, Watercolor on paper, 29 3/4 x 22 1/4 inches, 75.6 x 56.5 cm, TD049
  • Thornton Dial, “Life Go On”, n/d, Watercolor on paper, 30 x 22 1/4 inches, 76.2 x 56.5 cm, TD052
  • Thornton Dial, "Posing Blue Cat", 1992, Watercolor on paper, 30 x 22 1/4 inches, 76.2 x 56.5 cm, TD053
  • Thornton Dial, “Tiger Lead the Lady”, 1991, Watercolor on paper, 30 x 22 1/4 inches, 76.2 x 56.5 cm, TD054
  • Thornton Dial, “Tiger Can See Many Ways”, Watercolor on paper, 49 x 22 1/2 inches, 124.5 x 57.2 cm, TD059
  • Thornton Dial, “Up and Down”, 1992, Watercolor on paper, 30 x 22 1/2 inches, 76.2 x 57.2 cm, TD063
  • Thornton Dial, “People Will Reach Back for a Friend”, Watercolor on paper, 29 3/5 x 22 1/4 inches, 75.2 x 56.5 cm, TD064
  • Thornton Dial, “The Eagle Stretches His Wings (But He Needs the Little Chicken If He Going to Fly to the Top)”, Watercolor on paper, 29 3/4 x 22 1/4 inches, 75.6 x 56.5 cm, TD073
  • Thornton Dial, "Nuclear Condition", Tin, wood, pottery, and oil on canvas, 72 x 90 x 9 inches, 182.9 x 228.6 x 22.9 cm, TD081

Solo Exhibitions

  • Thornton Dial
    Mr. Dial's America
    David Lewis, New York
    January 25—March 18, 2018
  • Thornton Dial
    Green Pastures: In Memory of Thornton Dial, Sr.
    High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
    February 13, 2016—May 01, 2018
  • Thornton Dial
    Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial
    Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN; New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA; Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
    February 25, 2011—March 03, 2013
  • Thornton Dial
    Thornton Dial in the 21st Century
    Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
    September 25, 2005—January 08, 2006
  • Thornton Dial
    Thornton Dial: Image of the Tiger
    Museum of American Folk Art, New York, NY; New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY ; American Center, Paris, France; Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI
    1993

Group Exhibitions

  • The Assassination of Leon Trotsky
    James Beckett, Hans Bellmer, Willie Cole, Thornton Dial, Mary Beth Edelson, Leon Golub, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Todd Gray, Jeffrey Joyal, Megan Marrin, Nancy Spero, Manuel Solano, Paul Thek, Portia Zvavahara, David Wojnarowicz
    David Lewis, New York
    September 16—November 04, 2018
  • History Refused to Die
    Highlights from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift
    Thornton Dial
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
    May 22—September 23, 2018
  • Revelations: Art From the African American South
    Thornton Dial
    de Young Museum, Los Angeles, CA
    June 03, 2017—April 01, 2018

News

  • Thornton Dial
    A History of Salvage
    The Nation
    by Barry Schwabsky
    October 18, 2018
  • Thornton Dial
    Muses: Lonnie Holley on Thornton Dial, African Village in America, and Gee’s Bend Quilts
    ARTNews
    September 24, 2018
  • Thornton Dial
    The Met Breuer’s Upcoming Exhibition Explores Abstract Expressionism
    Blouin Artinfo
    July 25, 2018
  • Thornton Dial
    Thornton Dial Takes Fifth Ave
    The Brooklyn Rail
    Aleesa P. Alexander
    July 11, 2018
  • Thornton Dial
    An Invaluable, Incomplete Show of Black Southern Art at the Met
    by Andrea K. Scott
    June 18, 2018
  • Thornton Dial
    ‘History Refused to Die’ Review: A Visual Equivalent of Jazz
    The Wall Street Journal
    by Karen Wilkin
    May 30, 2018
  • Thornton Dial
    At the Met, a Riveting Testament to Those Once Neglected
    The New York Times
    by Roberta Smith
    May 25, 2018
  • Thornton Dial
    Outside Art Comes to the Metropolitan Museum
    by Roberta Smith
    May 25, 2018
  • Thornton Dial
    The Met Unpacks its Souls Grown Deep Gift
    by Brian Allen
    May 23, 2018
  • Thornton Dial
    Jackson Pollock and Thornton Dial given equal billing in Met exhibition
    The Art Newspaper
    Victoria Stapley-Brown
    May 21, 2018
  • Thornton Dial
    Thornton Dial
    Artforum
    Barry Schwabsky
    April 2018
  • Thornton Dial
    Thornton Dial: Mr. Dial's America
    Art in America
    March 08, 2018
  • Thornton Dial
    The New Yorker
    March 05, 2018
  • Thornton Dial
    Thornton Dial: Mr. Dial's America
    The Brooklyn Rail
    Jessica Holmes
    March 05, 2018
  • Thornton Dial
    What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week
    The New York Times
    by Roberta Smith
    March 01, 2018
  • Thornton Dial
    Thornton Dial at David Lewis, New York
    ARTnews
    by The Editors of ARTnews
    February 28, 2018
  • Thornton Dial
    Thornton Dial
    Artforum
    Kaelen Wilson-Goldie
    February 2018
  • Thornton Dial
    9 Art Events to Attend in New York City This Week
    ARTnews
    The Editors of ARTnews
    New York City
    January 22, 2018
  • Thornton Dial
    Editors’ Picks: 14 Things to See in New York This Week
    Artnet News
    by Sarah Cascone & Caroline Goldstein
    January 22, 2018
  • Thornton Dial
    The Outsider Fair Once More Confirms That Art Is Everywhere
    The New York Times
    by Roberta Smith
    January 18, 2018
  • Thornton Dial
    Thornton Dial (1928 – 2016)
    Artforum
    by Bernard Herman
    February 18, 2016
  • Thornton Dial
    Thornton Dial, Pioneering Artist Who Channeled Everyday Materials Into Intricate Constructions, Dies at 87
    ARTNews
    by Andrew Russeth
    January 26, 2016
  • Thornton Dial
    Outsider Artist Thornton Dial Dead at 87
    artnet news
    by Sarah Cascone
    January 26, 2016
  • Thornton Dial
    From the Deep South, an Overlooked Chapter in Art History
    Hyperallergic
    by Edward M. Gomez
    January 24, 2015
  • Thornton Dial
    The Met Embraces Neglected Southern Artists
    The New Yorker
    by Paige Williams
    December 04, 2014
  • Thornton Dial
    The Met Museum Nets Major Collection of Outsider Art from the South
    Hyperallergic
    by Benjamin Sutton
    November 24, 2014
  • Thornton Dial
    Composition in Black and White
    The New Yorker
    by Paige Williams
    August 12, 2013
  • Thornton Dial
    Thornton Dial
    Art in America
    by Anne Doran
    March 05, 2013
  • Thornton Dial
    Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial a must-see at NOMA
    The Times-Picayune
    by Doug MacCash
    March 01, 2012
  • Thornton Dial
    Museums Reveal Degas’s Nudes and Islam’s Splendor
    The Wall Street Journal
    by Karen Wilkin
    December 23, 2011
  • Thornton Dial
    Thornton Dial
    Artforum
    by Donald Kuspit
    August 2011
  • Thornton Dial
    Biography, History, Self-Evident Beauty
    The Wall Street Journal
    by Karen Wilkin
    April 21, 2011
  • Thornton Dial
    Outside The Lines
    Time Magazine
    by Richard Lacayo
    March 14, 2011
  • Thornton Dial
    Big Museum Show for an Ex-Welder
    The Wall Street Journal
    by Stan Sesser
    February 26, 2011
  • Thornton Dial
    Letting His Life's Work Do the Talking
    The New York Times
    by Carol Kino
    February 20, 2011
  • Thornton Dial
    Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial
    Artforum
    Monica L. Miller
    January 2011
  • Thornton Dial
    Biennial 2000
    Artforum
    by Katy Siegel
    May 2000
  • Thornton Dial
    By Whatever Name, Easier to Like
    The New York Times
    by Michael Kimmelman
    February 14, 1997
  • Thornton Dial
    Bits, Pieces and a Drive To Turn Them Into Art
    The New York Times
    by Dinitia Smith
    February 05, 1997
  • Thornton Dial
    Thornton Dial Sr.
    Artforum
    by Michele Wallace
    September 1995
  • Thornton Dial
    Thornton Dial
    Artforum
    by Jenifer P. Borum
    February 1995
  • Thornton Dial
    In the Forest of the Night Robert Farris Thompson on Thornton Dial: Image of the Tiger
    Artforum
    by Robert Farris Thompson
    April 1994
  • Thornton Dial
    ART VIEW; A Young Style for an Old Story
    The New York Times
    by Roberta Smith
    December 19, 1993

Publications

  • Thornton Dial
    Revelations: Art from the African American South
    by Timothy Anglin Burgard, et al.
    FAMSF Publications & Prestel
    2017
  • Thornton Dial
    Life Go On: The Art of Thornton Dial
    Virginia Union University
    2017
  • Thornton Dial
    Creation Story: Gee's Bend Quilts and the Art of Thornton Dial
    edited by Mark Scala
    Vanderbilt University Press
    2012
  • Thornton Dial
    Thornton Dial: Thoughts on Paper
    edited by Bernard L. Herman
    The University of North Carolina Press
    2011
  • Thornton Dial
    Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial
    edited by Joanne Cubbs and Eugene W. Metcalf
    DelMonico Books, Prestel
    2010
  • Thornton Dial
    Thornton Dial in the 21st Century
    by Paul Arnett,‎ Joanne Cubbs,‎ and Eugene W. Metcalf Jr.
    Tinwood Books
    2006
  • Thornton Dial
    Everyday Genius: Self-Taught Art and the Culture of Authenticity
    by Gary Alan Fine
    University of Chicago Press
    2006
  • Thornton Dial
    Testimony: Vernacular Art of the African-American South
    by Kinshasha Conwill and Arthur C. Danto
    Harry N. Abrams
    2001
  • Thornton Dial
    Thornton Dial: Image of the Tiger
    by Imamu Amiri Baraka, Thomas McEvilley, et al.
    Harry N Abrams Inc.
    1993
  • Thornton Dial
    Passionate Visions of the American South: Self-Taught Artists from 1940 to the Present
    by Alice Rae Yelen
    University Press of Mississippi
    1993