Clouds Moving in the Sky, We Wake Up in Darkness and Look for Daylight
Dial employed the rhetoric of formlessness to comment on the evolving nature of consciousness in his 2006 piece Clouds Moving in the Sky, We Wake Up in Darkness and Look for Daylight. To fashion this image of a cloud-filled sky just before dawn, he used paint and crumpled clothing and then overlaid the scene with a plastic scrim, the symbolic veil through which we attempt to discern life’s meaning. One of the first pieces made by the artist after the loss of his wife in 2005, the ethereal abstraction is more atmosphere than substance, a continually shifting mist of blue and brown that signifies the highs and lows of existence, what Dial refers to as “a clear day or a muddy day.” Hovering between light and dark, life and death, hope and despair. Dial’s daybreak sky is a metaphor for the struggle to see beyond the trouble of the world and into its larger truths.
This ongoing quest for life’s revelations has always been at the very center of Dial’s art-making and its journey through both the gloomy depths and the sublime heights of being. Summarizing his life as an artist, Dial mused:
“Art is like a bright star up ahead in the darkness of the world. It can lead peoples through the darkness. . . . Art is a guide for every person who is looking for something. That’s how I can describe myself: Mr. Dial is a man looking for something.”