June 21, 2013 (Knoxville, TN) — The Knoxville Museum of Art presents Thornton Dial: Thoughts on Paper July 12 through August 25, 2013. Dial (b. 1928) is widely recognized for his large-scale, mixed media paintings and found-object assemblages, yet his most abundant body of work is his drawings. This exhibition presents more than 50 of the Alabama native’s earliest drawings, from 1990 and 1991, a pivotal moment in his artistic career.
The self-taught Dial has been considered as both an outsider or “folk artist” and as a major figure on the contemporary art scene. Thornton Dial: Thoughts on Paper offers a fresh look at the artist’s achievements as seen through the medium of drawing. The works on view—characterized by flowing lines, color washes, and evocative images of women, fish, and tigers—provide a touchstone of Dial’s creative process.
Complementing the selection are three Dial drawings (Ethyl and Lucy, The People Loved Lucy, 1990; Life Go On, 1991; and Strange Dog, 1991) acquired by the KMA in 2010 as a gift from collectors Lou and Calynne Hill of Jacksonville, Florida. They are the first Dial works to enter the KMA Collection.
An accompanying publication, Thornton Dial: Thoughts on Paper, edited by Bernard L. Herman (guest exhibition curator and George B. Tindall Professor of American Studies at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and published by UNC Press, offers the first sustained critical attention to Dial’s works on paper. The book is available for purchase in the KMA’s Museum Shop.
The exhibition is organized and circulated by the Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with funding made possible by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the David G. Frey Expendable American Art Fund, the William Hayes Ackland Trust, and members and friends of the Ackland Art Museum.
The presenting sponsor for the Knoxville Museum of Art exhibition is Texas Instruments. Media sponsors include Digital Media Graphix, Kurt Zinser Design, and WBIR.
The Knoxville Museum of Art celebrates the art and artists of East Tennessee, presents new art and new ideas, serves and educates diverse audiences, and enhances Knoxville’s quality of life. The museum is located in downtown Knoxville at 1050 World’s Fair Park and is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday 10am–5pm and Sunday 1pm-5pm.Admission and parking are free. For more information, contact Angela Thomas at 865.934.2034 or visit www.knoxart.org.
The KMA thanks the Trust Company of Knoxville for sponsoring free admission during June 2013.