Thornton Dial, Don’t Matter How Raggly the Flag, It Still Got to Tie Us Together, 2003, mattress coils, clothing, can lids, found metal, plastic twine, wire, Splash Zone compound, enamel, spray paint on canvas on wood, 71 x 114 x 8".


Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial

Indianapolis Museum of Art
4000 Michigan Road
February 25–May 15, 2011

Curated by Joanne Cubbs

Mixing media but never his message, Thornton Dial turns his perspicacious eye to events local and global in his most comprehensive show to date. “Hard Truths” features seventy large-scale paintings, drawings, and found-object sculptures, which take an unblinking look at subjects that might seem outside the purview of a self-taught artist—the Iraq war, 9/11, and Obama’s election, to name a few. Focusing on the past two decades, the show finds the Alabama-born artist expanding on his main themes: racism; regionalism; and the working class, women, and others positioned at a distance from the American dream. The catalogue features essays from leading scholars of African-American art and culture such as Greg Tate and David Driskell, in addition to the curator.