Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Thornton Dial (1928–2016)

The artist Thornton Dial has died at the age of eighty-seven. The New York Times has an obituary.

Elaine and I found our way to Dial’s art in 2011, when we went to Indianapolis Museum of Art just to spend an afternoon and spent it looking at “Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial” and little else. Here is the image gallery from that exhibition. What the images don’t suggest is the sheer size of many of Dial’s artworks. For instance: 71 × 114 × 8 inches.

Thornton Dial’s art appears in four Orange Crate Art posts (1, 2, 3, 4), three of which mark the anniversary of September 11, 2001. His work is in what William Carlos Williams called “the American idiom,” using the materials at hand to make works of distinctive and difficult beauty.

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