Josh Dorman – RYAN LEE, New York
Born 1966 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Josh Dorman’s mythical landscapes are non-linear, multi-layered narratives that jump time, space, scale, and meaning. Altering boundaries between dimensions, his work explores specific dualities: chaos and order, natural and manmade, fluidity and restraint. Here time is collapsed in a universe that prompts discovery and fantasy, relating to his notion that his influences—from artists Paul Klee and Pieter Brughel to Sienese art and Chinese landscapes—are eternally present.
Dorman’s use of symbolic figures, folkloric elements, and hidden texts are in dialogue with his illusive imagery. He sources textbooks, manuals, and documents that pre-date photography for engravings relating in form and color. These found images, alongside his paintings and drawings, are combined with vintage paper and map fragments. His interest in unfamiliar, obsolete, and cryptic systems informs his process. In speaking on his practice, he says, "Between apocalypse and paradise, I seek metaphors for human hubris. The printed text on the maps can be altered. The locations become blurred. Gravity sometimes fails." Dorman’s work chronicles the internal logic that exists within dream states, creating a space where recurring themes, such as the solar system, botany, airplane engineering, cattle disease, and microbiology, can co-exist in a seemingly natural state.
Dorman graduated Skidmore College in 1988, receiving his MFA from Queens College in 1992. He participated in the 2013 Art Omi residency and recently completed animations for Anna Clyne’s The Violin, which were on view at Federal Hall in New York during a live concert. Dorman has exhibited at CUE Art Foundation, The Drawing Center, Katonah Museum, The National Academy Museum, Tang Museum, Trierenberg Corporate Kunsthalle, and Weatherspoon Art Museum. His work is included in permanent collections at the Butler Institute of American Art, OH; International Collage Center, PA; Naples Museum, FL; and Springfield Art Museum, MO, among others.