The collaborative projects of Mark Dion and Dana Sherwood reflect a shared fascination with how we view, understand, and interact with the natural and material worlds. Confectionery Marvels and Curious Collections, the latest in an ongoing series of related sculptures and installations by the husband-and-wife artists, finds a fitting home in the former Cliff House, which was once a dining establishment. Drawing us in with their jewel-like colors, these fanciful cast-resin desserts reveal upon closer inspection the glistening confections as melting, moldering, and dotted with insects—a familiar restaurant tableau transformed into a display of decadence and decay. At once whimsical and grotesque, the work provokes thought about our culture of consumption and waste, and confronts a startling reality in the land of plenty: billions of dollars’ worth of food is wasted in the United States each year, while millions around the world face hunger and food insecurity.
Confectionery Marvels and Curious Collections, 2021; resin, insects, porcelain, plaster, glass, various dry and wet specimens; courtesy of the artists
Mark Dion and Dana Sherwood’s immersive and often fantastical installations and architectural sculptures reflect a shared fascination with how we view, understand, and interact with the natural and material worlds. Their collaborations have been presented at Storm King Art Center, Tuileries Garden, and Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art.