- Published: August 31, 2022
- Updated: August 31, 2022
- University / College: University of Westminster
- Level: Masters
- Language: English
- Downloads: 5
In 1940 Thornton relocated to Bessemer, Alabama. In Alabama, he was exposed to various forms of art and artworks that inspired to create his own pieces of art. After having been employed at the Pullman Company for close to 30 years, the factory was closed in 1981. This prompted Thornton to dedicate more of his time, creativity and thinking to develop and expressing his artistic capabilities. In 1987 he met Bill Arnett, a local but very influential art collector who helped Thornton and his works gain prominence (Thornton & Herman 59).
According to Thornton & Herman (16), Thornton Dial’s work mainly focuses on pressing issues that can be found within the realm of American history and politics. These include racism, homelessness, war, and bigotry. Using discarded items ranging from buckets to bones to ropes, he constructs assemblages on a large scale. He combines whatever materials he has found with paint and in the process creates an interesting interpretation of politics and history in the United States. Thornton has participated in many exhibitions and his works can be found in many well-known private and public collections. These include the Indianapolis Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the High Museum of Art, the American Folk Art Museum, New York; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D. C.; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D. C.; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Thornton & Herman 43).
Dial, Thornton, and Bernard L. Herman. Thornton Dial: thoughts on paper. Chapel Hill, N. C.:
University of North Carolina Press, 2011. Print.