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The Knoxville Museum of Art presents Thornton Dial's "Thoughts on Paper" exhibition
Thornton Dial, Rooster Picture, 1991, watercolor, graphite, charcoal, and colored pencil, 30 x 22 5/8 inches, courtesy of Mr. Tom L. Larkin.
KNOXVILLE, TENN.- 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.

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