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American, 20th century.
Born 1965, Bessemer, Alabama; died 1998.

Ronald Lockett grew up in Bessemer, Alabama, next to the home of his older cousin Thornton Dial.  As a young man, Lockett spent many hours after school and on weekends observing Mr. Dial in his studio, learning techniques and developing his own ideas. In time, the two became close, working in proximity, and influencing one another.

Lockett was an extremely sensitive man who expressed his own sense of vulnerability and isolation through his paintings and metal collages. Many of his works explore the darker moments in human history: the Holocaust, Kennedy’s assassination, the Ku Klux Klan, the plight of the American Indian, and vast environmental devastation. Using images of deer, bison, wolves, and other endangered animals, Lockett’s constructions are a testament to the state of man, alone in the wilderness, where any number of threats abound.

- Phillip Jones, Institute 193


Selected Exhibitions
2019, Cosmologies from the Tree of Life: Art from the African American South, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond
2019, Souls Grown Deep: Artists of the African American South, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia
2019, Ear to the Ground: Earth and Element in Contemporary Art, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans
2018, History Refused to Die: Highlights from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
1995, Tree of Life, American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore

Selected Collections
American Folk Art Museum, New York
Gadsen Art Center, Quincy, Florida
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco

Selected Bibliography
Souls Grown Deep: Volumes 1 and 2, ed. William and Paul Arnett, Tinwood Books, Atlanta, 2000 & 2001. 

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