Mark Robbins’ work bridges the fields of art and architecture, exploring the intersection of the built environment with social practices. He uses photography, installations, and site-specific projects to reveal complex narratives about individuals and place. Whether focused on body culture, gay identity, or the architecture of new urbanism, the intent is to challenge standard histories and mainstream representations of daily life.
He has exhibited in venues throughout the United States and abroad, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, Japan; the Wexner Center for the Arts; the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center; and the Clocktower Gallery, NY. Strong+Silent was shown at the Clifford Gallery, Colgate University, which included “Playbook,” a 35 foot long photographic mural of intertwined collegiate footballs players modeled on the renaissance etching, “The Battle of Naked Men.”
His work can be found in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, numerous private collections, and in journals and catalogues. Households, a photographic series relating the body with the interior décor of domestic space, is published by Monacelli Press, and Angles of Incidence, an earlier monograph, was published by Princeton Architectural Press. Robbins is a frequent lecturer and author on issues related to art and design and the editor of two five-volume series on architecture and urban planning. The final book in the series was American City X, a case study of urban revitalization strategies that was published in Spring 2014.
A recipient of a Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, Robbins also received a fellowship in the visual arts from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, as well as awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Graham Foundation, and the state arts councils of New York and Ohio. He has received two artist fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and has had residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Ragdale Foundation, and the Chicago Institute for Architecture and Urbanism.