Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial Tour

Stars of Everything, Collection of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation.

Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial highlights the artist’s significant contribution to the field of American art and shows how Dial’s work speaks to the most pressing issues of our time—including the war in Iraq, 9/11, and social issues like racism and homelessness. The exhibition presents 70 of Dial’s large-scale paintings, drawings and found-object sculptures, including 25 works on view for the first time. Spanning twenty years of his work as an artist, it is the most extensive showing of his art ever mounted.

Drawing inspiration from the rich aesthetic traditions of the black South and with no formal education, Dial has forged a major body of astoundingly original work. Influenced by the found-object displays of African American yard shows, his work incorporates salvaged objects—from plastic grave flowers and children’s toys to carpet scraps and animal skeletons—to create highly charged assemblages that tackle a wide range of social and political subjects, with a particular focus on the struggles of historically marginalized groups such as women, the rural poor, and the impoverished underclass. Born out of decades of his own struggle as a working-class black man, Dial’s work also explores the long history of racial oppression in America and offers a moving testimony on the human struggle for freedom and equality.

Meet on the second floor near the Welcome Desk.

Indianapolis Museum of Art 4000 Michigan Rd., Indianapolis, IN