Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Josh Dorman's Topographic Fleurs

Let's take a time out from sports and transit maps to take a look at mapping the soul. I am always drawn to artists who incorporate maps into their work. Josh Dorman often uses maps as an element in his paintings, or as in this case, he paints on the maps:

Four Fleurs
2008 acrylic on antique maps

The antique maps appear to be old United States Geological Survey topographical maps. Why paint on maps?
I collect outdated (pre-photography) textbooks, topographic maps, manuals, and documents. Paper that has lived a life and shows its age compels me to paint. I am intrigued by systems I do not understand and by information that is no longer relevant.
Josh's work is currently on exhibit at the Mary Ryan Gallery in New York. Time Out New York says:
Layering snippets of engraved illustrations redolent of Victorian encyclopedias over yellowing vintage maps, before adding painterly touches in ink and acrylic, Dorman conjures an imaginatively reordered universe teeming with organic and artificial life. Often transforming his topographical grounds into sweeping rural landscapes, he sprinkles each scene with incongruous groupings of flora and fauna, machinery and architecture, achieving a semi-improvised orchestration of multiple diverse parts into something like a symphonic whole.
HT to Kathi Flood



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