Feature Articles

March 2011

Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill, NC, Features Works by Thomas Hart Benton, Thornton Dial, and Quilts

The Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill, NC, will present several new exhibits including: Chords of Memory: Lithographs by Thomas Hart Benton, on view from Mar. 9 through May 13, 2012; Thornton Dial: Thoughts on Paper, on view from Mar. 30 through July 1, 2012 and Piece by Piece: Quilts, Collages, and Constructions, on view from Mar. 30 through July 1, 2012..

Associated with the Regionalist movement, Thomas Hart Benton wanted to create a “living art” that presented American subjects in a way that was easily accessible to everyday people. He traveled on sketching trips around America’s heartland during the Depression, often playing his harmonica in exchange for room and board. His lithographs record his travels, paying homage to the people and places that he encountered.

Some of the prints deal with Benton’s memories of his own childhood in Missouri, of his family and neighbors and how they lived. Others deal with music - with the singing, foot stamping, and folk songs that shaped the character of rural life in the South and Midwest. However, by the 1940s, these songs were beginning to disappear. Chords of Memory examines Benton’s attempt to record these songs and the way of life that they represented.

Two abstract oil paintings by Benton will be shown along with the exhibition. They represent the artist’s early experiments in synchronism, a movement interested in creating harmonies with color just as musicians composed with sound.

While most recognized for his large scale, multi-media assemblages, Thornton Dial’s drawings are his most prolific body of work, spanning from the early 1990s into the present. Organized by the Ackland Art Museum, Thornton Dial: Thoughts on Paper will feature 50 of Dial’s earliest drawings from 1990-1991, a pivotal moment in his artistic career.

The Ackland Art Museum is well known for its extensive collection of works on paper and in particular, its outstanding collection of drawings, making it a natural venue in which to explore this less-known but highly significant portion of Dial’s oeuvre. The works in the exhibition - characterized by flowing lines, color washes, and images of women, fish, and tigers - provide a touchstone of Dial’s creative process.

A fully-illustrated book, Thornton Dial: Thoughts on Paper, co-published by the Ackland Art Museum and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will be available. The book is edited by Bernard L. Herman, with contributions by Bernard L. Herman, Juan Logan, Glenn Hinson, Colin Rhodes, and Cara Zimmerman.

Piece by Piece: Quilts, Collages, and Constructions is centered on a quilt from the legendary Gee’s Bend, Alabama, quilting community, this exhibition celebrates both the act of “piecing together” works of art from disparate elements and the influence of traditional women’s fabric arts on modern and contemporary art.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Museum at 919/966-5736 or visit (http://www.ackland.org/index.htm).


[ | March 2012 | Feature Articles | Carolina Arts Unleashed | Gallery Listings | Home | ]



Carolina Arts is published monthly by Shoestring Publishing Company, a subsidiary of PSMG, Inc. Copyright© 1987-2012 by PSMG, Inc., which published Charleston Arts from July 1987 - Dec. 1994 and South Carolina Arts from Jan. 1995 - Dec. 1996. It also publishes Carolina Arts Online, Copyright©1998- 2012 by PSMG, Inc. All rights reserved by PSMG, Inc. or by the authors of articles. Reproduction or use without written permission is strictly prohibited. Carolina Arts is available throughout North & South Carolina.