Tiger Can Stand Up and Look Any Kind of Way, 1990. Watercolor and graphite on paper, 15 x 20". Lent by White Hall Gallery, Virginia Union University

Thornton Dial


The Tiger Looking In


Paintings and Watercolors from the Collection of Virginia Union University


January 16 - March 1, 1998
Entrance Gallery and Graphics Gallery, first floor

One of the most nationally visible African-American artists working in the South, Thornton Dial addresses subjects that are of direct concern to him, yet speak to larger issues. His observations and experiences as an African-American over his 69 years are synthesized in a lexicon of powerful images. Dial chose the tiger to represent the African-American male, struggling to achieve equality in white-dominated America. Acknowledging his place in the ongoing dialogue between the sexes, the tiger plays the traditional role of the trickster in African-American legends. This selection of five paintings and 26 watercolors, all dating about 1990, explode with the color and energy of Dial's creative vision and the poignancy of this universal message.

From the collection of the White Hall Gallery at Virginia Union University, Richmond, the exhibition was organized by Artspace Gallery in Richmond, where the works received their first public presentation last spring.


Opening Program
Readings from Leaving Pipe Shop
by Deborah E. McDowell, professor, English Department
Jazz by the Kevin Teasley and Company
Sunday, January 18, 3 pm, in the Museum, reception follows

Gallery Talk and Concert
Gallery Talk by Suzanne Foley, curator
Concert by Black Voices of the University of Virginia
Sunday, February 15, Gallery Talk 2 pm; Concert 3 pm, in the Museum