Foundation of the World (A Dream of My Mother)

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    Photo: Ron Lee/The Silver Factory
Welded steel rods, tin, rope, carpet, rope fiber wood, burlap, enamel, spray paint, industrial sealing compound
Collection of
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund and partial gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation

Dial's monumental chair honors "a man's ideas—ideas is what give the world its foundation," and he equates the conception and subsequent execution of an idea with a mother giving birth. The mother image is poignantly represented as a disheveled figure with a braided halo, hovering over the sculpture like a guardian angel. Dial's depiction of his mother as an empty chair is autobiographical—his unwed teenaged mother was forced to give him away when he was a small child. —Robert Hobbs