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Thornton Dial digs deep for ‘Hard Truths’

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On view

“Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial”

Through March 3. 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays; until 8 p.m. Thursdays; noon-5 p.m. Sundays. $18; $15, students and seniors; $11, ages 6-17; free, 5 and younger. High Museum of Art, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-733-4200, www.high.org.


“All truth is hard truth. We’re in the darkness now, and we got to accept the hard truth to bring on the light. You can hide the truth, but you can’t get rid of it. When truth come out in the light, we get the beauty of the world.”

— Thornton Dial, quoted in blown-up wall text at the entrance to “Hard Truths”


The meaning behind Thornton Dial’s recurring visual metaphors:

  • Tigers: African-American struggle; finding balance in an imbalanced world.
  • Eagles: America’s often-unrealized promise.
  • Fences, barbed wire: Barriers, often between classes.
  • Carpeting: People who are considered lowly and often stepped upon by others.
  • Gray, black: Sooty despoiling by industry
  • Green: Greed or financial opportunism
  • Yellow: The coming together of race


Source: Joanne Cubbs

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