Thornton Dial

Art, Contemporary art Free
Recommended
Now nearing 90, Dial is one of America’s preeminent self-taught artists. To call him an outsider or folk artist, however, would do him a disservice, as his heavily collaged all-over abstractions often possess the same sophistication as Robert Rauschenberg’s Combine paintings, even when dealing with hot-button issues such as America’s history of bigotry and racism. Born in 1928—barely a generation removed from slavery—in Alabama, where he continues to live and work, Dial didn’t start pursuing art seriously until the 1980s. This show focuses on drawings and watercolors featuring figures and animals rendered in a sinuous style that recalls a mix of Jean Dubuffet, late Picasso and Surrealism.

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