Victory in Iraq

Thornton Dial American

Not on view

Dial’s artistic response to pressing contemporary events is manifest in this dark, deliberately messy, and rather threatening assemblage. Its confident, declarative title recalls President George W. Bush’s infamous pronouncement of victory—"mission accomplished"—on May 1, 2003. Juxtaposed with the menacing morass, the title suggests perhaps the artist’s cynicism regarding the government’s activities in the Middle East. With twisted, tangled, and broken forms and a seemingly random array of objects—barbed wire, a mannequin head, stuffed animals—Dial’s construction evokes a chaotic war zone. Embedded within this web of destruction, two wood poles form an asymmetrical "v," a reference to the word "victory," while the work’s large size suggests the enormity of the international conflict and its consequences.

Victory in Iraq, Thornton Dial (American, Emelle, Alabama 1928–2016 McCalla, Alabama), Mannequin head, barbed wire, steel, clothing, tin, electrical wire, wheels, stuffed animals, toy cars and figurines, plastic spoons, wood, basket, oil, enamel, spray paint and two-part epoxy putty on canvas on wood

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