Dorsky Turns Back Time

The Dorsky will be taking a trip down memory lane with their newest exhibtion.

Named for the era from which the pieces come,“1980s Style: Image and Design in The Dorsky Museum Collection,” a new exhibition at The Dorsky, showcases prints, photographs and jewelry from back in the day.

Bold geometry, vibrant colors and the dawn of the digital age characterize the ‘80s era from fashion form to art form. The 1980s was a time artists took it upon themselves to express their troubles, according to exhibition curator Daniel Belasco.

Belasco said artists during this time were living in a world facing issues of nuclear war, domestic violence, AIDS, Apartheid and other pressing matters,

Belasco said he selected the exhibition pieces to best portray the aggression, anxiety, anger and political concerns of the 1980s. As a child during the decade, Belasco said he was always interested and immersed in the ‘80s culture.

“Through this exhibition, I’ve been able to take a more critical look at what was happening in the ‘80s,” Belasco said.

Having been recently appointed The Dorsky’s new curator of exhibitions and programs, Belasco said he started his time at the museum with the vision of providing a new take on the collection by having a collection show.

From the 5,500 objects in The Dorsky collection, Belasco said he believed the “arresting qualities” of the selected works of “1980s Style” accurately portrayed the emotions of the day.

He describes the pieces as straying from previous art styles and having an asymmetry for the purpose of activism.

Belasco said that artists during the ‘80s were unashamed of expressing their fears through their work, unlike today’s artists.

Among The Dorsky collection pieces in “1980s Style” are artist and Professor Ann Lovett’s photography, ceramic work by New Paltz graduate with a Masters in Fine Arts, Stephen Ladin’s prints donated by SUNY Purchase and an Andy Warhol screenprint.

Rachel Beaudoin, a third-year art history major, has been the current curatorial intern since spring 2013 and assisted Belasco in putting together “1980s Style.”

“When I started as an intern at the Dorsky, Belasco shared with me his idea of doing an exhibition of works from the collection that were made in the 80s and expressed the mentality of that time,” Beaudoin said.

Beaudoin and Belasco started with a large list of potential works for the show, according to Beaudoin who researched the artists and their pieces.

The two would discuss Beaudoin’s findings and would decide on which pieces expressed the ideas that they wanted to get across.

“It is incredible to see it come to life in the gallery space, it’s interesting to see new connections now that the works are hung next to one another,” Beaudoin said. “I have a new appreciation for all the details that will be presented to the public after being exposed to the whole process. I’m excited to see how people will receive this show, what they get from it and the different connections that they may make.”

“1980s Style” is open to the public and the exhibition’s opening reception is Saturday, Feb. 8 from 5 to 7 p.m.