American artist Mark Dion is known for his pioneering and original use of scientific presentations in his installations. A major figure in the contemporary art world, his works have been featured internationally at the Tate Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art, and in the PBS series Art21. He teaches at Columbia University in the Visual Arts department.
Dion develops large sculptural works and installations that investigate perceptions of the natural world. In his PBS Art21 series, Mark has commented, “The job of the artist is to go against the grain of dominant culture, to challenge perception and convention.” He often uses found objects, in particular, cabinets modeled on Wunderkabinetts of the 16th century, to bring together unusual combinations and specimens. His art challenges our preconceived knowledge about nature, which is often rooted in the authoritative role of the scientific voice in contemporary society.
Mark Dion received his BFA and honorary doctorate from the University of Hartford, School of Art. He has received numerous awards, including the ninth annual Larry Aldrich Foundation Award (2001). He has had major exhibitions at the Miami Art Museum (2006); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2004); Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, 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.