Mark Dion

Born: 1961

Hometown: New Bedford, MA

Lives and Works: New York, NY

Education: Ph.D. (Honorary), University of Hartford School of Art, Hartford, CT, 2003
BFA, University of Hartford School of Art, Hartford, CT, 1986

Works by the Artist

Mark Dion Bio

About The Artist

The artist Mark Dion creates large-scale installations and fantastical cabinets—modeled after Wunderkammer of the sixteenth century—that question established archaeological, museum, and scientific methods and practices in contemporary society. Dion’s works display unusual orderings of objects and specimens collected from staged digs and excursions, addressing topics ranging from environmentalism to public policy. In his installation The Department of Marine Animal Identification of the City of New York, the artist recreated a biologist’s office, including a cabinet full of labeled jars, a desk, and even a lab coat hanging on a door, and in The Library for the Birds of Antwerp, the artist exhibits a leafless tree, its branches containing African Finches, bird cages, traps, and other objects. One of his most famous works, the Tate Thames Dig, was executed in three phases: an archeological dig, the cleaning and classifying of objects, and the display, which consisted of "Cabinets of Curiosities" consisting of items like plastic toys, oyster shells, and clay pipes, challenging institutional and museological discourses.

Dion has had exhibitions at institutions including the Miami Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, and the Tate Gallery, among many others. His permanent outdoor installation and learning lab for the Olympic Sculpture Park, Neukom Vivarium, was commissioned by the Seattle Art Museum.


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