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Alabama Wall I

1985 William Christenberry Born: Tuscaloosa, Alabama 1936 Died: Washington, District of Columbia 2016 metal and tempera on wood 45 3/8 x 50 1/2 in. (115.3 x 128.3 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase 1986.8 Smithsonian American Art Museum
3rd Floor, North Wing


Gallery Label

This wall construction is another way Christenberry explores his experience with the Alabama landscape. Carefully snipped pieces of found objects—license plates, advertising signs, corrugated and rusted metal—are quilted together and padded by bright colors that contrast a sense of age with fresh immediacy. The repeated "36" is the numerical code for Hale County, but also doubles as the year of the artist’s birth. Seen in some places with the small embossed heart from "He[art] of Dixie", there is no doubting where the affections of the artist lie.

Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006

Keywords

Allegory - place - Alabama

Architecture - vehicle - detail

Object - other - sign

painting

metal

paint - tempera

wood