In Honor

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    Photo: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio
Clothing, bedding, carpet, plastic twine, enamel, and spray paint on canvas on wood
73 x 108 x 3 inches
Collection of
Souls Grown Deep Foundation

In his most defined group of works on the world of women, Dial has produced countless tributes to the Southern rural quilt-making tradition of his female forebears. His earliest pieces on this theme reach back to around 1995. But it was between 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. In Honor, from 2002, is a particular homage to the women of this small rural enclave. Here, a spray-painted patchwork of soft velvet and flowered upholstery turns into a field of mask-like faces memorializing the esteemed members of the community. The scene is framed by a line of “grass” made of green carpet and a few glimmers of blue sky, allowing the work to double as a topographical map of the tiny town that has become synonymous with the spirits and accomplishments of its renowned inhabitants. —Joanne Cubbs