Out of the Darkness, the Lord Gave Us Light

Thornton Dial American

Not on view

Dominated by shards of black, purple, and blue-green, the fractured surface of this piece suggests the moment of the Big Bang—the beginning of the universe. Many of Dial’s works concern the origin of things. Here, he draws on a line from the Book of Genesis: "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." In his visualization of this divine moment, the three main colors battle for dominance of the composition. One of the oldest veins of art historical thought proposes God as the first artist—the first creator. Dial imagines his own version of the first "image" ever created, the moment when light appears from nothingness.

Out of the Darkness, the Lord Gave Us Light, Thornton Dial (American, Emelle, Alabama 1928–2016 McCalla, Alabama), Carpet, cloth, two-part epoxy putty, enamel, and spray paint on canvas on wood

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