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Thornton Dial: Images of the Tiger

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New York, NY, U.S.A. 1993 Cloth Hardcover NEW/NEW in Mylar Cover 0810932172.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This monograph, published in conjunction with an exhibition at several museums, is devoted to the assemblages of Dial, an African American ironworker from Alabama who until recently produced his powerful abstractions in obscurity. The color reproductions of Dial's vibrant constructions are superb, but the accompanying essays obscure rather than illuminate the art. Art critic McEvilley uses the jargon of contemporary art criticism to discuss the self-taught artist's place in the art world. Baraka's convoluted diatribe rants about the fate of black artists in a white supremacist society. Extended captions by collectors Paul and William Arnett are based on Dial's own statements and help to explain his imagery, especialy his use of the tiger as a symbol of the black person's struggle in an alien environment. Dial's exuberant works, created from paint and found materials, and their direct titles (``Struggling Tiger in Hard Times,'' ``Struggling Tiger Know sic His Way Out'') speak eloquently for themselves. (Dec.)
Library Journal
A former Alabama steel worker, Dial ``made things'' without acclaim for the first 60 years of his life. Since his ``discovery,'' the self-taught African American artist has gained international attention. The tiger symbolizes both Dial and the African American male. It acts as protagonist in highly sculptural paintings constructed from found objects, scraps of carpeting, rope, and Bondo. Though the paintings are nearly abstract, close examination reveals a complex narration among the vivid colors, energetic lines, and bold design. McEvilley and Baraka do a good job of explaining the meaning of ``outsider art'' like Dial's, and through comparisons with figures in conventional art history they validate his work. Enhanced by the fiercely political prose of Baraka and direct quotes from the artist, this book can have an impact in all kinds of libraries. Recommended.-- Susan M. Olcott, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810932173
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/29/2000
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 9.42 (w) x 11.80 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword 6
Proud-Stepping Tiger: History as Struggle in the Work of Thornton Dial 8
Fearful Symmetry: The Art of Thornton Dial 32
The Works 65
Afterword 157
List of Collectors 158
Exhibition History 159
Selected Bibliography 160
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