The Dorsky Museum announces new exhibition

Jeffrey Gibson, By Your Side, 2014, Elk hide over maple panel, acrylic paint, graphite, 60 x 42 x 2 ½ in, Courtesy the artist and Marc Straus Gallery, New York.
Jeffrey Gibson,
By Your Side, 2014,
Elk hide over maple panel, acrylic paint, graphite,
60 x 42 x 2 ½ in,
Courtesy the artist and Marc Straus Gallery, New York.

The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz is delighted to present Geometries of Difference: New Approaches to Ornament and Abstraction, an exhibition of seven contemporary artists who play with modernist abstraction and push geometry and pattern to the verge of ornament. Organized by independent curator and scholar Murtaza Vali, the exhibition will be on display at The Dorsky Museum through April 12 in the museum’s Alice and Horace Chandler and North Galleries. The public opening reception is Saturday, Feb. 7, 5–7 p.m.

Geometries of Difference includes works by Derrick Adams, Kamrooz Aram, Rana Begum, Jeffrey Gibson, Jason Middlebrook, Kanishka Raja, and Seher Shah, who subtly subvert modernist abstraction through strategies of difference, pushing geometry and pattern to the verge of ornament. Drawing from and referring to Western abstraction and other aesthetic traditions more accepting of ornament, the artworks in this exhibition will present a dialogue between the two visual discourses, revealing unexpected juxtapositions and intersections that challenge traditional art histories.

The exhibition includes 65 works of painting, sculpture, printmaking, and mixed media construction. Exhibition highlights include: two new seven-foot high paintings by New York-based Kamrooz Aram; a large wall installation by London-based artist Rana Begum; two new series of prints and collages by Delhi-based Seher Shah that investigate pattern and architecture, never before exhibited in the United States; a new textile work by New York-based Kanishka Raja woven by hand in Kolkata, India; and a selection of recent works by New York-based Derrick Adams and Hudson Valley-based Jeffrey Gibson and Jason Middlebrook.

Exhibition-related programs include:

  • Sunday, February 8, 2 p.m.
    Free Gallery Tour with Guest Educator Kevin Cook
  • Sunday, March 1, 2 p.m.
    Free Gallery Tour with Guest Educator Kevin Cook
  • Saturday, March 28, 2 p.m.
    Panel Discussion: “Geometries of Difference” with artists Jeffrey Gibson and Kamrooz Aram, SUNY New Paltz professor Amy Cheng, and exhibition curator Murtaza Vali.

About Murtaza Vali
Murtaza Vali is a critic, curator, editor, and visiting instructor at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. He holds a M.A. degree in art history and archaeology from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts (2004). A recipient of a 2011 Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for Short-Form Writing, he has written for ArtAsiaPacific, Artforum,,, ArtReview, Art IndiaBidounHarper’s Bazaar Art ArabiaModern Painters, Nafas Art Magazine, NuktaArt, and V&A Magazine and has published monographic essays on Siah Armajani, Fahd Burki, Shilpa Gupta, Emily Jacir, Reena Saini Kallat, Laleh Khorramian, Naeem Mohaiemen, and Hrair Sarkissian. His past curatorial projects include: PTSD: Shahpour Pouyan (Lawrie Shabibi Gallery, Dubai, 2014); extra|ordinary: The Abraaj Group Art Prize 2013 (Art Dubai, 2013); Brute Ornament (Green Art Gallery, Dubai, 2012); and Accented (BRIC Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, 2010). He also served as an editor of Manual for Treason, a multilingual publication commissioned by the Sharjah Art Foundation for Sharjah Biennial 10 (2011) and served on the Selection Jury for the 2010 Sharjah Art Foundation Production Programme grants. He lives and works between Sharjah, UAE and Brooklyn, N.Y.

About the Dorsky Museum
Through its collections, exhibitions, and public programs, the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, located at SUNY New Paltz, supports and enriches the academic programs at the college, presents a broad range of world art for study and enjoyment, and serves as a center for Hudson Valley arts and culture. The museum is gaining wide recognition as the premier public showplace for exhibition, education, and cultural scholarship about the Hudson Valley region’s art and artists from yesterday and today. With more than 9,000 square feet of exhibition space distributed over six galleries, The Dorsky Museum is one of the largest museums within the SUNY system. The Dorsky was officially dedicated on Oct. 20, 2001. Since then it has presented over one hundred exhibitions, including commissions, collection-based projects, and in-depth studies of contemporary artists including Robert Morris, Alice Neel, Judy Pfaff, Carolee Schneemann, and Ushio Shinohara, historic Woodstock artists Eugene Speicher and Charles Rosen, and Hudson Valley luminaries Russel Wright and Dick Polich.

Museum Hours: Wednesday–Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, Holidays, and Intersessions

For more information about The Dorsky Museum and its programs, visit, or call (845) 257-3844.