Artist Mark Robbins explores how the built environment and cultural practice intersect. His site-specific installations and photographic work bring into focus the relationship between mythologies about place and information about daily life that is often left out of commercial and political representations. In works such as Import/Export (2001), a series of billboards along the Miami River that juxtaposed images of immigrant workers with images from tourist brochures, his intention is to broaden the definitions of American social life and public space and to use architecture and planning as a base for a critical practice.
Composed of a series of multipaneled photographic collages, Robbins’s Radcliffe project will juxtapose the scales of the body, domestic interiors, and city and suburb. The work will document individuals and couples and their private spaces, relating décor to the body as representations of identity, posed against urban and suburban settings.
Robbins has been awarded the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Graham Foundation, and artist fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts. Princeton Architectural Press published a monograph on his work, Angles of Incidence, in 1993. Robbins was director of design at the NEA, where he undertook an aggressive program to strengthen the presence of innovative design in the public realm. Previously he was an associate professor in the Knowlton School of Architecture at The Ohio State University and curator of architecture at the Wexner Center for the Arts.