"Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial," an exhibit of more than 40 paintings, drawings and sculptures by one of America's premier self-taught artists, opens Feb. 24 at The New Orleans Museum of Art.
Dial, who was born in rural Alabama in 1928, is known for his expressive canvases, deeply layered with twisted fabric, rope, tree limbs, metal and bones, all unified under thick passages of paint.
He also creates free-standing assemblage sculpture from cast-off materials. Though largely abstract, Dial's works can symbolize topical issues from war to social injustice.
Twenty-five of the pieces in the exhibit "Hard Truths," which was originally presented by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, are new; others span the past 20 years. Based on photos of the exhibit installation-in-progress, some of the artworks are of epic scale.
Several events will take place during the run of the exhibit:
A tour guided by curator Joanne Cubbs on March 2 at 6:45 p.m.
A tour with Louisiana assemblage-maker Shawne Major on March 30 at 6:30 p.m.
A tour with New Orleans painter and sculptor Willie Birch at April 20 at 6.
A lecture titled "Modern Folk Art in America" with historians Jane Livingston and John Beardsley on May 18 at 6 p.m.
In harmony with the Dial exhibit, NOMA will present a selection of works by self-taught artists from the museum's collection in the Great Hall. The exhibit will include art by Sam Doyle, Pervis Young, Sister Gertrude Morgan, William Hawkins and Clementine Hunter, plus the museum's painting by Dial.
The exhibit will remain up until May 20. NOMA is at 1 Collins C. Diboll Circle in City Park. Visit noma.org. Call 504.658.4100.