Josh Dorman ’88
Josh Dorman ’88 has captured the imagination of poets, art critics, and other writers for the past
20 years with his dreamy, multi-layered artwork. Increasingly, his acclaimed mixed-media
art has caught the attention of the classical music world as well.
Most recently, he was preparing to display his stop-motion animations during a March 16 concert performed by the distinguished Orchestra of St. Luke’s. The New York City-based orchestra learned about Dorman’s art through Grammy-nominated composer Anna Clyne. For her album, “The Violin,” Dorman created seven animations to accompany each of the multi-tracked violin pieces. He created the animations — based on his fantastical collage art that incorporates paint, ink, antique maps, and other materials — over five years (2009-2014). Two of them will be screened live to accompany two movements that the orchestra will play from Clyne’s album: “Lavender Rain” and “Resting in the Green.”
“Music informs my work directly and indirectly all the time, and so I was thrilled
to be part of this unique process of creating imagery to accompany Anna Clyne’s gorgeous
violin pieces,” Dorman says.
Clyne came across Dorman’s art when she saw his large paintings as part of a Memory Bridge Foundation documentary that aired on PBS. The artwork was the result of his 2007 collaboration with the Chicago-based organization, which employs art and music to communicate with and about people with dementia. In six paintings, Dorman captures individual life stories through an abstract collage of images based on the conversations of Alzheimer’s patients with family members, staff, and others at a nursing home.
“His art resonated with me deeply and seemed to echo aspects of my music, and this led to our collaboration for ‘The Violin,’” Clyne says.
Dorman’s drawings and paintings have been reviewed in “Modern Painters,” “Art in America,” “The Paris Review,” and “The New Yorker,” among others. Dorman, who lives in New York City, graduated as an art major from Skidmore and earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from Queens College. A teacher for the last 19 years at The Spence School, a prestigious K-12 all-girls school, he has served as an adjunct and visiting professor at several colleges and universities, including Skidmore, where he taught drawing and painting for seven years in the Summer Six Program (now the Summer Studio Art Program). For more about his work, visit https://www.joshdorman.net/