Mark Dion


Mark Dion: Analysis of Artistic Theme




Mark Dion’s work is so diverse and so peculiar that one would find it difficult to define the theme linking to his artwork.  Even though his art may not be visually comparable to one another in a theme, the content if his artwork binds the pieces together.  As quoted in Art21 Dion’s work examines the ways in which dominant ideologies and public institutions shape our understanding of history, knowledge, and the natural world.[1] 

            Dion was a mutineer of sorts against the classical contemporary art world and society as is and instead of clashing with the styles he would sometimes embellish the ideas and thoughts of society and bring out the theoretical contents of them.  Because Dion considers himself eco-friendly, some of his works focus of exposing the deception of traditional science and ecological irresponsibility.[2]   Dion’s art represents his knowledge of history and science and hoe he can merge them and blur them in into art.

In his art installation My Art is Run he mocked a cemetery including granite tombstones with names and descriptions of naturalists that were of great importance to the intellect of poetry, art, medicine and literature.[3]  Although the content was not described in the article because of the closeness of the tombstones to one another may signify a mutual symbiosis to one another to create a more intriguing, flavorful and functional society.  Dion was also very interested in taxidermy.  He believe that the stuffing of animal was more that preserving a living state, but rather stuffing them into hierarchies rather

superior or subordinate groups where he is committed to understanding the concepts and meanings of status and hierarchies.[4]  In his piece The Delirium of Alfred Russell Wallace he has a stuffed fox placed between tress with glasses on giving the fox personification and therefore increasing his status within our society.[5]  Some would call Dion and activist of contemporary art and society as a whole.  His idea match is intellectualness of nature and science and requires the viewer to work to understand his content.

            Mark Dion’s work is so unusual and hard to define some may think that he is creating a non-expressionism idea in his art.  It is hard to identify a theme in his art without analyzing more deeply into what he is trying to express.  As explained earlier his art may not be compared similarly to one another as a theme but the meaning of his compositions connects them together.  Because, Dion’s work observes the ways in which society is structured by the ideologies of how humans view the world it can nourish his expression and give reason to create.   

[2] Williams, Gilda

[4] Coles, Alex

[5] Coles, Alex


Works Cited:


Coles, Alex, (1997). Art/Text. Mark Dion, (No.58), pp.101-102.


William, Gilda, (1997) Art Monthly, Mark Dion, (No.204), pp.22-23


Author Unknown (2005). Mark Dion: Momento Mori. Retrieved 3/9/2009 from http://


Author Unknown (2008). Mark Dion:. Retrieved 3/9/2009 from


  1. I am soooooooooo neat!

  2. yes you are!!!!!

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