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Gallery Feature: Bill Lowe Gallery and Artist Thornton Dial

American Artist by Thornton Dial Thornton Dial, American Artist, 2012, mixed media on canvas, Bill Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA

Bill Lowe Gallery has for a quarter-century been recognized as the South’s pre-eminent Contemporary gallery. Widely acclaimed for the depth and scope of its program, its curatorial excellence, and its concentration on content-driven work done by artists with an advanced technical mastery of their media, the gallery acts as a link to global culture for its collectors.

The gallery features principal early and late works by artistic giant, Thornton Dial (American, b.1928). Born in 1928, Dial’s life has been defined by hard labor. Dial rose to prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s with his magnificently complex assemblages constructed of organic and industrial materials, embedded with a kaleidoscopic array of found elements. These assemblages tell a story not yet heard in our culture. The works serve as chronicles of Dial’s insights into human relationships during a turbulent era in American history, one which spanned the decades of the Jim Crow South, and extend into the economic, socio-cultural, political, and spiritual struggles that characterize our time.

Drummond Mines (The Strip Mining Business) by Damien Hirst Thornton Dial, Drummond Mines (The Strip Mining Business), 2013, mixed media on canvas, Bill Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA

Hard Truths, his recent traveling exhibition, mounted by the Indianapolis Museum of Art and later displayed in the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Mint Museum in Charlotte, and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, was a curatorial tour de force that is re-writing art history. This much-heralded retrospective has attracted powerful critical and curatorial support from around the world, adding still more momentum to Dial’s trajectory and his status in the global arena.

Time magazine devoted a five-page story to this breathtaking exhibition, The New York Times gave him a full-page review, and CNN featured him in a segment that commented on his new-found status as the peer of Anselm Kiefer, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Robert Rauschenberg. The Wall Street Journal added another remarkable accolade, ranking the show as one of the five noteworthy exhibits in America in 2011. A recent, seminal article in The New Yorker further added to the ever-expanding conversation about his monumental talent.

Dial serves as a tireless advocate of society’s underdogs, and gives voice to the historically disenfranchised. His epic and eloquent works explore the recent onslaught of natural disasters and the non-stop television coverage of them, and commemorate the toll they took on the planetary psyche even as they explore the resiliency of the collective human soul. His works are the embodiment of art as alchemy. His gestural and raw aesthetic draws inspiration from the landscape, both literal and metaphorical, and transforms its discarded media into an iconographic language that represents and reforms tradition.

Dial’s discovery by respected collector, curator, and scholar, Bill Arnett, has become the fodder of modern legend. The legacy they have co-created promises to become the bedrock for an important new chapter in American and global art history. Bill Lowe Gallery is pleased to present primary works by Dial on an ongoing basis.

Lady with Her Pet Dog by Thornton Dial Thornton Dial, Lady with Her Pet Dog, 1989, mixed media on wood, Bill Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA


1555 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30309

William Lowe is president of Bill Lowe Gallery.

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