Thornton Dial, "Shadows of the Field," 2008, String, twine, synthetic cotton batting, wood, burlap, sheet metal, cloth rags, nails, staples, and enamel on canvas on wood, 79 x 105 x 5 inches, 200.7 x 266.7 x 12.7 cm, TD105

Thornton Dial, installation view, “History Refused to Die Highlights from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, 2018

Thornton Dial, installation view, “History Refused to Die Highlights from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, 2018

Thornton Dial, installation view, “History Refused to Die Highlights from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, 2018

Thornton Dial, installation view, “History Refused to Die Highlights from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, 2018

Thornton Dial, installation view, “History Refused to Die Highlights from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, 2018

Installation view, Thornton Dial, Frieze Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, 2020

Installation view, Thornton Dial, “Out of Place: A Feminist Look at the Collection,” curated by Catherine Morris and Carmen Hermo, Brooklyn Museum, NY, 2020

Installation view, Thornton Dial, “Out of Place: A Feminist Look at the Collection,” curated by Catherine Morris and Carmen Hermo, Brooklyn Museum, NY, 2020

Installation view, Thornton Dial, “African American Art in the 20th Century,” curated by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Dubuque Museum of Art, Dubuque, IA, 2020

Thornton Dial and Lucy Dodd, Frieze, London, UK, 2019

Installation view, Thornton Dial, Art Basel | Feature, Basel, Switzerland, 2019Installation view, Thornton Dial, Art Basel | Feature, Basel, Switzerland, 2019

Thornton Dial, “If the Tiger Knew He'd Be the Star of the Circus, He Wouldn't Have Hid So Long in the Jungle,” 1989, Enamel, rope carpet, industrial sealing compound, and oil paint on wood, 48 7/8 x 120 1/2 x 2 inches, 124.1 x, 306.1 x 5.1 cm, TD108

Thornton Dial, installation view, “Artists I Steal From,” curated by Alvaro Barrington and Julia Peyton-Jones, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London, UK, 2019

Thornton Dial, installation view, “The Assassination of Leon Trotsky,” David Lewis, New York, NY, 2018, “Rising Water/Signs of Hope,” 2011, Tin, wood, wire, fabric, leather, artificial plants, and oil on canvas, 71 x 86 x 10 inches, 180.3 x 218.4 x 25.4 cm, TD082

Thornton Dial, installation view, “Mr. Dial's America,” David Lewis, New York, NY, 2018

Thornton Dial, installation view, “Mr. Dial's America,” David Lewis, New York, NY, 2018

Thornton Dial, installation view, “Mr. Dial's America,” David Lewis, New York, NY, 2018

Thornton Dial, installation view, “Mr. Dial's America,” David Lewis, New York, NY, 2018

Thornton Dial, installation view, “Mr. Dial's America,” David Lewis, New York, NY, 2018

Thornton Dial, installation view, “Mr. Dial's America,” David Lewis, New York, NY, 2018

Thornton Dial, installation view, “Mr. Dial's America,” David Lewis, New York, NY, 2018

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, “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, “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, "Louisiana," 2011 71 1/4 x 70 1/2 x 8 inches, 181 x 179.1 x 20.3 cm, TD089

Thornton Dial, “Interior Decoration (Scratching and Wrapping),” 1999, Steel mesh, wire, nails, enamel, cloth, spray paint, and oil on canvas, 48 x 48 x 3 1/2 inches, 121.9 x 121.9 x 8.9 cm, TD087

Thornton Dial, “The Clouds at Ground Level,” 2003, Plastic bottles, machine parts, roots, found metal, clothing, plastic twine, wire, enamel, spray paint, and Splash Zone compound on canvas on wood, 65 x 84 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches, 165.1 x 214.6 x 24.1 cm, TD103

Thornton Dial, “Changes of Day,” 2006, Mixed media on canvas on wood, 68 x 68 x 5 inches, 172.7 x 172.7 x 12.7 cm, TD104

Thornton Dial, “Cows of Japan,” 2011, 79 1/2 x 57 x 9 1/2 inches, 201.9 x 144.8 x 24.1 cm, TD088

Thornton Dial, “Walking Around the World, 2001, Rope carpet, clothing, bedding, enamel, and spray paint on canvas on wood, 73 x 73 x 4 inches, 185.4 x 185.4 x 10.2 cm, TD079, Princeton collection

Thornton Dial, “Struggling Garden,” 2012, Wood, metal, fabric, plastic flowers, enamel, and spray paint on canvas on wood, 48 x 48 x 4 inches, 121.9 x 121.9 x 10.2 cm, TD075

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

Thornton Dial, “Purple Rain,” 1995, Fabric, tin, oil, enamel, spray paint, and Splash Zone compound on canvas on wood, 74 x 34 x 7 inches, 188 x 86.4 x 17.8 cm, TD078

Thornton Dial, “American Artist,” 2012, Wire, metal, rope, fabric, paint brushes, and oil on canvas, 48 x 36 x 5 inches, 121.9 x 91.4 x 12.7 cm, TD008

Thornton Dial, installation view, “Thornton Dial in the 21st Century,” Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, 2005

Thornton Dial, “Coming Up with the Sun,” 2012, Tin, artificial flowers, and spray paint on canvas on wood, 42 1/2 x, 36 1/2 x 8 inches, 108 x 92.7 x 20.3 cm, TD009

Thornton Dial, “Gate to the Wall,” 2012, Tin, wood, wire, cloth, artificial plant, and spray paint on wood, 37 3/4 x 48 x 9 inches, 95.9 x 121.9 x 22.9 cm, TD110

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, “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, “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, “Coming Through the Trees”, 1992, Watercolor on paper, 30 1/4 x 22 inches, 76.8 x 55.9 cm, TD047

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, “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

Born 1928, Emelle, AL
Deceased 2016, McCalla, AL

Solo Exhibitions
Group Exhibitions
Press
Download CV

Group Exhibitions

2020

African American Art in the 20th Century

curated by Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, PA

February 15—May 10, 2020

Out of Place: A Feminist Look at the Collection

curated by Catherine Morris and Carmen Hermo

Brooklyn Museum, NY

January 24—September 13, 2020

2019

Souls Grown Deep: Artists of the African American South

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA

June 08—September 02, 2019

Cosmologies from the Tree of Life: Art from the African American South

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA

June 08—November 17, 2019

Artists I Steal From

curated by Alvaro Barrington and Julia Peyton-Jones

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London, UK

June 05—August 17, 2019

Home is a Foreign Place: Recent Acquisitions in Context

The Met Breuer, New York, NY

April 09—June 21, 2019

African American Art in the 20th Century

curated by Smithsonian American Art Museum

Dubuque Museum of Art, Dubuque, IA

January 19—April 21, 2019

2018

Epic Abstraction: Pollock to Herrera

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

December 17, 2018—February 04, 2020

The Assassination of Leon Trotsky

David Lewis, New York

September 16—November 04, 2018

History Refused to Die

Highlights from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

May 22—September 23, 2018

2017

Revelations: Art From the African American South

de Young Museum, Los Angeles, CA

June 03, 2017—April 01, 2018

2016

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C

October 21, 2016—June 01, 2020

Press

2020

MUSEUMMAMMY

Das Magazin

Hans Ulrich Obrist

July 01, 2020

2019

New York Galleries: What to See Right Now

The New York Times

by Will Heinrich

November 06, 2019

5 Outstanding Works at Frieze London, From a Gripping Painting by Thornton Dial to Some Unsettling Photos by Cindy Sherman

Artnet News

by Andrew Goldstein

October 03, 2019

2018

A History of Salvage

The Nation

by Barry Schwabsky

October 18, 2018

Muses: Lonnie Holley on Thornton Dial, African Village in America, and Gee’s Bend Quilts

ARTNews

September 24, 2018

The Met Breuer’s Upcoming Exhibition Explores Abstract Expressionism

Blouin Artinfo

July 25, 2018

Thornton Dial Takes Fifth Ave

The Brooklyn Rail

Aleesa P. Alexander

July 11, 2018

An Invaluable, Incomplete Show of Black Southern Art at the Met

by Andrea K. Scott

June 18, 2018

‘History Refused to Die’ Review: A Visual Equivalent of Jazz

The Wall Street Journal

by Karen Wilkin

May 30, 2018

At the Met, a Riveting Testament to Those Once Neglected

The New York Times

by Roberta Smith

May 25, 2018

Outside Art Comes to the Metropolitan Museum

by Roberta Smith

May 25, 2018

The Met Unpacks its Souls Grown Deep Gift

by Brian Allen

May 23, 2018

Jackson Pollock and Thornton Dial given equal billing in Met exhibition

The Art Newspaper

Victoria Stapley-Brown

May 21, 2018

Thornton Dial

Artforum

Barry Schwabsky

April 2018

Thornton Dial: Mr. Dial's America

Art in America

March 08, 2018

The New Yorker

March 05, 2018

Thornton Dial: Mr. Dial's America

The Brooklyn Rail

Jessica Holmes

March 05, 2018

What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week

The New York Times

by Roberta Smith

March 01, 2018

Thornton Dial at David Lewis, New York

ARTnews

by The Editors of ARTnews

February 28, 2018

Thornton Dial

Artforum

Kaelen Wilson-Goldie

February 2018

9 Art Events to Attend in New York City This Week

ARTnews

The Editors of ARTnews

New York City

January 22, 2018

Editors’ Picks: 14 Things to See in New York This Week

Artnet News

by Sarah Cascone & Caroline Goldstein

January 22, 2018

The Outsider Fair Once More Confirms That Art Is Everywhere

The New York Times

by Roberta Smith

January 18, 2018

2016

Thornton Dial (1928 – 2016)

Artforum

by Bernard Herman

February 18, 2016

Thornton Dial, Pioneering Artist Who Channeled Everyday Materials Into Intricate Constructions, Dies at 87

ARTNews

by Andrew Russeth

January 26, 2016

Outsider Artist Thornton Dial Dead at 87

artnet news

by Sarah Cascone

January 26, 2016

2015

From the Deep South, an Overlooked Chapter in Art History

Hyperallergic

by Edward M. Gomez

January 24, 2015

2014

The Met Embraces Neglected Southern Artists

The New Yorker

by Paige Williams

December 04, 2014

The Met Museum Nets Major Collection of Outsider Art from the South

Hyperallergic

by Benjamin Sutton

November 24, 2014

2013

Composition in Black and White

The New Yorker

by Paige Williams

August 12, 2013

Thornton Dial

Art in America

by Anne Doran

March 05, 2013

2012

Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial a must-see at NOMA

The Times-Picayune

by Doug MacCash

March 01, 2012

2011

Museums Reveal Degas’s Nudes and Islam’s Splendor

The Wall Street Journal

by Karen Wilkin

December 23, 2011

Thornton Dial

Artforum

by Donald Kuspit

August 2011

Biography, History, Self-Evident Beauty

The Wall Street Journal

by Karen Wilkin

April 21, 2011

Outside The Lines

Time Magazine

by Richard Lacayo

March 14, 2011

Big Museum Show for an Ex-Welder

The Wall Street Journal

by Stan Sesser

February 26, 2011

Letting His Life's Work Do the Talking

The New York Times

by Carol Kino

February 20, 2011

Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial

Artforum

Monica L. Miller

January 2011

2000

Biennial 2000

Artforum

by Katy Siegel

May 2000