Smooth-Going Cats and the Hard-Headed Goat
The dominant red, white, and blue paint on this canvas signifies the African American struggle for justice and equality on a national scale. Two writhing cats encircle a goat, a symbol of stubborn people who stand in the way of progress. “Plenty of peoples is hard-headed, like the goat,” Thornton Dial said. “That goes for all peoples being hard-headed and not paying attention to things.” Dial created this painting during a brief period when he was experimenting with oil paint without incorporating found objects.