Assassination

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    Photo: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio
1988
Found metal, tin, wood, nails, bicycle gear, paint
27.5 x 48.5 x 13 inches

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Jesus as the avenging angel of God is evoked in the work of Thornton Dial Jr. in his pieces entitled Assassination and I'll Be Back.

Jesus as the avenging angel of God is evoked in the work of Thornton Dial Jr. in his pieces entitled Assassination and I'll Be Back. In Assassination he creates an abstract crucifixion scene using metal to shape Jesus and the thieves and wood to form the crosses on which they hang. Although he uses different materials in Assassination from those in I'll Be Back and turns to abstraction, the works complement each other in that Christ emerges in this piece also as a strong and powerful figure. His power is suggested both by the use of metal in the construction of his body and the enormous size of the Christ figure in comparison with the figures on either side of him. The Christ figure towers above the images of the thieves and protrudes in an almost threatening fashion. The elevation of the figure of Christ above both the thieves hanging at his sides and the depiction of confusion and chaos that surrounds the entire scene seem to suggest that, despite his crucifixion, Jesus remains above and in control of the situation. Once again, Dial suggests that, even in his martyrdom, Jesus remains a powerful figure.