Christie's announced Things Grow in the United States: Works from the Collection of Jane Fonda a group of 14 objects to be sold on January 18, 2023 in the Outsider and Vernacular Art sale during Americana Week in New York. The group of artwork consists of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and assemblages by Thornton Dial, Arthur Dial, and Thornton Dial, Jr. The group is being sold with thanks to The Fine Art Group.
Jane Fonda is an avid collector and champion of the Dials' art. She is on the board of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation & Community Partnership, an organisation dedicated to promoting the work of Black artists from the American South and supporting their communities by fostering economic empowerment, racial and social justice, and educational advancement. Representing of two generations of Southern Vernacular artists, the artworks in the sale include both figurative and abstract examples, addressing a range of historical and sociopolitical issues.
Jane Fonda comments: "When you look at the artwork made by these talented men and women from the American South, you see that it's truly great, it's truly original, it's truly American. We cannot allow racism and discrimination to keep this art from being included in our national family of artwork, which it has been for far too long. Found objects are a tradition of 20th century art. It's Marcel Duchamp, his conversion of urinals into a so-called fountain, all the way to my friend Bob Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns-it's not unique to these artists of the South. Dial used found objects in his environment, which I think is just so beautiful. He gave discarded things a second life, brilliantly repurposing material with an impact that very few artists ever had."
Cara Zimmerman, Head of Outsider Art, Christie's, comments: "We are honoured to offer works by these important artists in our upcoming January auction during Americana Week. The pieces proffer, through subject matter and media, an intensely powerful look into their creators' experiences as Black artists in the American South. Works by Dial family members are now held in many museum collections, and their increasing presence in the American art historical canon is long overdue."
The sale is led by two dynamic assemblages by Thornton Dial, each estimated to achieve $50,000-100,000. Dial was a groundbreaking American artist who has become known over the last four decades for his massive work comprising found and repurposed materials. Dial's practice investigates a wide range of poignant topics including social justice and human rights. Dial's artworks have been acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and other important institutions.