Thornton Dial, Sr. Works on Paper
While Dial’s large-scale assemblages and sculptures have gained much attention, his drawings and paintings on paper have a particularly unifying style and concentration of subject matter. Most of these works feature women, often alongside an animal, like a tiger, fish, or bird, and speak to the relationships between men and women. His drawings are lyrical with female forms floating in space, twisting around tigers, executed in bold out-of-the-tube watercolors, or in soft charcoal and pencil lines.
In his 2011 book exclusively about Thornton Dial Sr.’s works on paper, Bernard L. Herman writes that the first quality a viewer perceives when encountering Dial’s drawings, “is movement at once balletic and ballistic, where dance and power coalesce.” This exhibition of 14 paintings are representative of Dial's early frenetic, yet contemplative, works on paper.