Born 1961 in New Bedford, Massachusetts, United States
Lives and works in Copake, New York, United States
Mark Dion is an American conceptual artist best known for his use of scientific presentations in his installations. His work examines the manner in which prevalent ideologies and institutions influence our understanding of history, knowledge and the natural world. The job of the artist, according to him, is to "go against the grain of dominant culture, to challenge perception and convention". By locating the roots of environmental politics and public policy in the construction of knowledge about nature, Dion questions the objectivity and authoritative role of the scientific voice in contemporary society, tracking how pseudo-science, social agendas and ideology creep into public discourse and knowledge production. Some of his well-known works include Neukom Vivarium (2006), a permanent outdoor installation and learning lab for the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle, Washington.
Dion’s work examines the ways in which dominant ideologies and public institutions shape our understanding of history, knowledge, and the natural world. Appropriating archaeological and other scientific methods of collecting, ordering, and exhibiting objects, Dion creates works that question the distinctions between “objective” (“rational”) scientific methods and “subjective” (“irrational”) influences.
The artist’s spectacular and often fantastical curiosity cabinets, modelled on Wunderkabinetts of the sixteenth century, exalt atypical orderings of objects and specimens. By locating the roots of environmental politics and public policy in the construction of knowledge about nature, Mark Dion questions the authoritative role of the scientific voice in contemporary society.
He has received numerous awards, including the ninth annual Larry Aldrich Foundation Award (2001). He has had major exhibitions at Miami Art Museum (2006); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2004); the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut (2003); and Tate Gallery, London (1999). Neukom Vivarium (2006), a permanent outdoor installation and learning lab for the Olympic Sculpture Park, was commissioned by the Seattle Art Museum.
Cabinet of Marvels
190 × 130 × 48 cm
Ink on paper
62 × 48 cm
Insect net, used shovel, tree branch and rope
Mark Dion's Theatre of the Natural World, Aliya Say, Frieze Magazine, February 2018
This Remarkable Mark Dion Exhibit Will Change Your Perception of Science -- And Art, Jonathon Keats, Forbes, 2017
Classifying Mark Dion, Daniel Neville, 2016
Oktogon, Albertinum & Grünes Gewölbe, Dresden, Frieze Magazine, February 2015
Mark Dion: "Drawings, Prints, Multiples and Sculptures", Roberta Smith, New York Times, April 2013
Mark Dion’s "Twenty One Years of Think in Three Dimensions", John Beeson, Art Agenda, 2012
Mark Dion: "Phantoms of the Clark Expedition", New York Times, July 2012
Review by Peter Eleey, Frieze Magazine, April 2005
In the Shards of the Past, the Present Is Revealed, Roberta Smith, New York Times, February 2004
Mark Dion - "Collaborations", Ken Johnson, New York Times, April 2003
As Lovely as a Tree? No, but Provocative, New York Times, March 2003
Mark Dion and J. Morgan Puett - "Ladies Field Club of York And Other Curiosities", Roberta Smith, New York Times, May 2002
Art/Architecture; The Drama of Digging In New England's Trash, Ann Wilson Lloyd, New York Times, January 2002
Review by Holland Cotter, New York Times, April 2000
Tate Thames Dig, 1999, Tate online
POSTCARD FROM GENOVA
with Michael Beutler, Mariana Castillo Deball, Luca De Leva, Mark Dion, Invernomuto, Koo Jeong A, Tobias Putrih, Jorge Queiroz, Tomás Saraceno, Bojan Šarčević, Georgina Starr, Luca Trevisani, Cesare Viel
opening Saturday June 3, 5-8pm
in Brussels, BE