Josh Dorman: Within Four Miles

At the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles until January 11, 2009: “”Within Four Miles: The World of Josh Dorman.” The Los Angeles Times on the exhibit:

Tiny Lives: Beantown (Josh Dornan, 2006)

Most of the work in “Within Four Miles: The World of Josh Dorman” is based on old topographical maps that the artist has cut out and collaged onto panels or canvas, drawn into and painted over. Typically, maps offer certitude and a clear sense of positional relationships. Dorman’s versions shed the anchors of rational order. They trade scientific method for poetic instinct. In finding a new use for old materials, Dorman has also resuscitated an obsolete definition of the word “map”: “to bewilder.” …

Dorman’s works are all journey, no destination — or perhaps multiple destinations. He toys with place names on maps, adding or blocking out letters to spell puns or playful descriptions. From old books, he cuts out diagrams of machine parts, botanical specimens and microorganisms, charts of celestial schema and ancient languages, weaving them together into a fluid, fictive realm. Forms give way to other forms with free-associative ease. Planes tilt and warp; scale and perspective shift radically. Epic themes infiltrate raw sensation. The antiquated and schematic merge with the new and immediate.

Via GeoCarta. For more on Josh Dorman, see his home page. At right: “Tiny Lives: Beantown,” ink on antique map on canvas, 2006.