Around the IMA, we’re full steam ahead for the February 25 opening of our next exhibition, Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial. Installation is underway in the galleries, catalogues have arrived in the shop, final preparations are being made for the opening reception, the exhibition website has launched, and finishing touches are being put on the TAP mobile tour.
Thornton Dial presents his perspective on the big issues of our time – from current events that speak to him from a constant stream of news television to the resulting impact of social issues in our nation’s history – through his incredibly layered and symbol-rich work. The lack of abandon he demonstrates with his choices of materials builds upon traditions found in African American yard art, re-purposing salvaged items while still mindful of their previous incarnations. As he stated, “I only want materials that have been used by people, the works of the United States, that have did people some good but once they got the service out of them they throwed them away. So I pick it up and make something new out of it.”
Throughout the course of the exhibition, we’ll be featuring a series of blog posts inspired by Thornton Dial – not only discussing his art, but also exploring the larger topics he references in his work. We’ll also look at the many ways that staffers at the museum work on the exhibition, and how these behind-the-scenes stories contribute to the whole. Stay tuned!