On View: ‘Souls Grown Deep: Artists of the African American South’ at Philadelphia Museum of Art

July 29, 2019

Thornton Dial Sr. (1928-2016), made symbolic mixed-media paintings and sculptural assemblage works with profound titles. “The Last Day of Martin Luther King” (1992), references the civil rights leader’s assassination, a moment of national tragedy, sadness, and mourning, and an inflection point in American race relations. “High and Wide (Carrying the Rats to the Man)” (2002) depicts a slave ship in troubled waters. “The Old Water” (2004) raises issues of equal opportunity and government accountability. All three works by Dial, who was born, lived, worked and died in Alabama, are on view in “Souls Grown Deep: Artists of the African American South.” The exhibition features 24 works by African American artists from the southeastern United States, spanning generations, expressing themselves through variety of mediums.