Life Go On

Thornton Dial (1928–2016) Life Go On, 1991 Acrylic on canvas 48 × 36 in. The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of Ron Shelp, New York 1992.10.3

In Life Go On a central female figure cradling a nest of eggs is surrounded by a swirling mass of colors, birds, and fish. The work is one in a series that features similar recurring symbols drawn from nature. Thornton Dial used birds, fish, and eggs as signifiers of femininity and fertility. In his words: “Women are the creation of the world. They give love and care, and they also give strength and power.”