Mark Dion's first project for the LeRoy Neiman Center, Scala Natura, is the artist's play on the notion of a hierarchy of life forms running through the canon of western philosophy. His visual chart borrows widely from the history of western image-making and scientific illustration. Dion playfully adds a row of objects of industry, art and culture to the final row of the chart, displacing humans from their position at the apex of the great chain.
For his second project, Hunting Standards, Dion collaborated with Nathan Catlin (MFA '12) to create a portfolio of four banner-like images that illustrate both the empathy and irony of hunting. Through The Fox, The Boar, The Deer, and The Rabbit, he provides a visual commentary that addresses "hunting as a cultural practice that is rich in traditions, passionately pursued and highly controversial."
Mark Dion was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1961. He earned a BFA in 1986 and an honorary doctorate in 2003 from the University of Hartford School of Art, Connecticut, as well as an MFA from School of Visual Arts, New York in 1986. Dion has participated in many solo and group exhibitions and his work is represented in the collections of national and international museums. A notable commissioned work is his permanent outdoor installation and learning lab at the Olympic Sculpture Park, made for the Seattle Art Museum. Dion has often focused his artistic investigations on the complex history of the representation of nature, the practice of archeology and the culture of collecting. The forms of his projects are diverse and include architectural scale public works, sculpture, drawing, printmaking and photography.