Eye of the FabricBack to Artist
In his most defined group of works on the world of women, Dial has produced countless tributes to the Southern rural quiltmaking tradition of his female forebears.
In his most defined group of works on the world of women, Dial has produced countless tributes to the Southern rural quiltmaking tradition of his female forebears. His earliest pieces on this theme reach back to around 1995. But it was in the 2000 and 2003 that he created his most significant series of fabric-strewn wall assemblages, which were inspired by his interactions and friendships with the now famous group of African-American quilt makers from Gee's Bend, Alabama. Dial's very last quilt-inspired piece, Eye of the Fabric is an ode to the watchful care and nurturance of the matriarchy that Dial came to know so well while growing up. An overall patchwork pattern, its abstract organic shapes are bound together by length of braid, a dual referent for the plaiting of women's hair and the strong interweavings of women's communities. Final this work is also a gesture of commemoration. The colors are grayed and the surfaces worn as if partially effaced by the passage of time. —Joanne Cubbs