Birmingham News

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    Photo: Stephen Pitkin / Pitkin Studio
1997
Wood, rope, fabric, rope carpet, enamel, spray paint, and Splash Zone compound on canvas on wood
83 x 100 x 7 inches

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Dial’s Birmingham News is about the uneasy dance between mainstream conceptions of black culture (The Birmingham News is Dial’s local paper, which has covered his career) and the

Dial’s Birmingham News is about the uneasy dance between mainstream conceptions of black culture (The Birmingham News is Dial’s local paper, which has covered his career) and the realities of that culture, expressed as a quasi-quilt of strips of bed linens over-painted with expressionist energy. Dial made Birmingham News soon after his discovery of his great aunt Sarah Dial Lockett’s quilts following her death, and on the heels of a grave illness of his own, as if to move past his almost-was newspaper obituary and to revel in the life—affirming exuberance and resilience of the African American patchwork-quilt aesthetic and its alternative methods of transmitting information about and between black people. —Paul Arnett