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Photo: Paul Macapia

Neukom Vivarium

design approved 2004; fabrication completed 2006

Mark Dion

American, born 1961

Neukom Vivarium is a hybrid work of sculpture, architecture, environmental education and horticulture that connects art and science. Sited at the corner of Elliott Avenue and Broad Street, it features a sixty-foot-long "nurse log" in an eighty-foot-long custom-designed greenhouse. Set on a slab under the glass roof of the greenhouse, the log has been removed from the forest ecosystem and now inhabits an art system. Its ongoing decay and renewal represent nature as a complex system of cycles and processes. Visitors observe life forms within the log using magnifying glasses supplied in a cabinet designed by the artist. Illustrations of potential log inhabitants-bacteria, fungi, lichen, plants, and insects-decorate blue and white tiles that function as a field guide, assisting visitors' identification of "specimens." Neukom Vivarium is the artist's first permanent public art work in the United States.


Mixed media installation, Greenhouse structure length: 80 ft. (24.38 m), Gift of Sally and William Neukom, American Express Company, Seattle Garden Club, Mark Torrance Foundation and Committee of 33, in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Seattle Art Museum, 2007.1, © Mark Dion

Provenance: Commissioned from the artist by Seattle Art Museum (funds from donors), 2003-2007

location
Now on view at Olympic Sculpture Park

Photo: Paul Macapia

http://www1.seattleartmuseum.org/eMuseum/media/full/2007.1_1.jpg

Photo: Paul Macapia

http://www1.seattleartmuseum.org/eMuseum/media/full/2007.1_4.jpg

Photo: Paul Macapia

My art asks you to think about both nature and sculpture not as objects, but as processes.

Mark Dion

"My art asks you to think about both nature and sculpture not as objects, but as processes. I like to imagine a young visitor coming here when she is ten, returning with her family as a teenager, stopping by as a college student, then one day taking her own children to the park to teach them about the nurse log and how it looked when she was their age. She would have always entered the same building but never had the same experience."

—Mark Dion

Artist

Mark Dion

American, born 1961

Born in 1961 in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Mark Dion has exhibited his work at numerous distinguished museums including, The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Kunsthalle Zurich; De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam; the Vancouver Art Gallery; The Tate Gallery, London; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, where he created a major new work in conjunction with MOMA's reopening. In 2003 he received the prestigious Larry Aldrich Foundation Award for his impact on contemporary art. Dion was an artist-in-residence at the former studio of sculptor Alexander Calder in Azay-le-Rideau, France in 2005. Mark Dion's Neukom Vivarium is the artist's first permanent public art work in the United States.

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