Posted On: March 25, 2002

Dan Graham, Mark Dion, and Dalziel + Scullion

Target Art in the Park features new works by Dan Graham, Mark Dion, and Dalziel + Scullion that highlight the link between city life and the natural world, and explore the present and past of Madison Square Park.

About the Artists

Dalziel + Scullion,  Voyager

Scottish artist duo Dalziel + Scullion make their New York debut with  Voyager, three two-person expedition tents of cast aluminum. Each tent is exquisitely rendered, with luminous surfaces that mimic the texture of a real tent, suggesting stretched fabric, arched framework, and pulled tethers. Sited at the southern end of Madison Square Park,  Voyager  serves as a reminder of exotic places, the spirit of adventure, and the American wilderness.

Working collaboratively since 1993, Matthew Dalziel (b.1957, Irvine, Scotland) and Louise Scullion (b.1966, Helensburgh, Scotland) have created multimedia and sculptural works that investigate the complex and necessary relationship between humanity and nature. Their recent collaborations – which have ranged from a tin-roofed rain pavilion to an installation reconstructing the origins of a glacial valley in Norway – transport viewers from their familiar contemporary surroundings to imaginary, distant landscapes in which nature is a more rugged, vibrant element.

Mark Dion,  Urban Wildlife Observation Unit

Working closely with scientists and non-art institutions, Mark Dion (b.1962, New Bedford, MA) mines the fields of ecology, botany, ethnography, and natural history museum displays in realizing his installations and sculptures. His long-standing interest in environmental issues has led him to create  Urban Wildlife Observation Unit, a constructed urban ecological center that will allow park visitors to reexamine their surroundings by taking a closer look at the natural environment – the animals, bugs, and trees – in Madison Square Park.

Fashioned after a nineteenth-century wildlife refuge viewing area, Dion adorns his field station with objects, drawings, and other props that pertain to the park’s natural surroundings. Created with input from park rangers and New York-area naturalists, Dion’s interactive sculpture allows for a unique and educational engagement with Madison Square Park.

Dan Graham,  Bisected Triangle, Interior Curve

Dan Graham (b.1942, Urbana, IL) has created a sleek two-room, walk-in pavilion of two-way reflective glass. During the past three decades, Graham has become internationally famous for his pavilions, which he has created for parks all over the world.  Bisected Triangle, Interior Curve  will be his first work for a New York City public park. Situated at the northwest end of Madison Square Park, Graham’s pavilion will be a triangular form (twenty  feet by twenty-four feet by  twenty-four  feet) that integrates into the wedge-shaped geometry of the nineteenth  century park.

Entering the pavilion through a sliding door and looking out through its glass walls, park visitors can contemplate their own reflections while simultaneously observing the hustle and bustle of  Broadway. This optical distortion – both meditative and visually disconcerting – can vary profoundly, as the glass walls become transparent or opaque in shifting natural light. Inside the calm of this unlikely urban oasis, viewers become increasingly conscious of movement and activity surrounding the structure: trees blowing above, traffic moving, and pedestrians passing. Just as navigating  urban streets can prompt changing perspectives of the city, pausing inside Graham’s pavilion causes  park visitors  to see a familiar place in a new light.


Target Art in the Park  is organized by the Public Art Fund on behalf of the City Parks Foundation.

Press Coverage

New York Times

Further Information

Public Art Fund

Dalziel + Scullion

Mark Dion, Tanya Bonakdar  

Dan Graham, Marian Goodman Gallery