Mark Dion in Philly and New York

Mark Dion, Bartram’s Garden exhibition announcement.

The curtains go up tonight at Bartram’s Garden on Mark Dion’s Travels of William Bartram – Reconsidered. The exhibition compiles artifacts, drawings, and assorted natural and unnatural objects collected and created by Dion (Season 4) as he spent seven months retracing the original trail of the 18th-century American naturalists John and his son William Bartram.

Examining the history and culture of that period using the Bartram travel journals, drawings, and maps, Dion followed their journey all the way to Northern Florida, having set off last mid-November in Philadelphia at the explorers’ historic home. Like his predecessors, the artist culled, collected, painted, wrote, drew, and subsequently sent the ‘new artifacts’ back to Bartram’s Garden, where they will be installed in cabinets.

The entire journey was document in real time and archived online HERE. The exhibition at Bertrand’s Garden will be on display until December 6th.

Mark Dion, “Mildred’ Lane.” 2007, ink on paper. Courtesy the artist and Alexander Gray Associates.

Ever the busy gentleman, a show curated by Dion and J. Morgan Pruett titled Mildred’s Lane opened earlier this week at Alexander Gray Associates in New York. Mildred’s Lane is the name given to Puett and Dion’s 96-acre farm in the Upper Delaware River Valley in rural Pennsylvania. Over the last ten years, Mildred’s Lane has presented workshops, readings, performances, screenings, temporary exhibitions and architectural installations. Central to the project is a connection between research, working, making, and living with art in a rural environment replete with agricultural history and natural beauty.

Mildred’s Lane extends the rich history of artist colonies and retreats and, as Puett and Dion describe it, the core of the project practice and educational philosophy is “an attempt to collectively create new modes of being in the world—this idea incorporates questions of our relation to the environment, systems of labor, forms of dwelling, all of which compose an ethics of comportment.” This summer, Mildred’s Lane will offer a summer residency and curriculum for students at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The exhibition at Alexander Gray Associates runs through September 6th and includes works by numerous artists, including Jorge Colombo, Moyra Davey, Hope Ginsberg, John Haskell, Allison Smith, and Season 3’s Josiah McElheny. Learn more about the history and eccentricities of Mildred’s Lane from this recent Art:21 blog entry.


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