Dario Robleto: Falk Visiting Artist

  • Sep 24, 2006 – Dec 17, 2006
Dario Robleto, "Nurses Needed Now", 2005, homemade paper (pulp made from
soldiers’ letters home from various wars), thread and fabric from
soldiers’ uniforms from various wars, and other materials, 33.5 x 26 x
3.5 in. Private collection, New York. Photo: Ansen Seale.

This solo exhibition of sculpture by the acclaimed San Antonio-based artist Dario Robleto focuses on symbols of grief and mourning connected to U.S. soldiers of war. The works in the exhibition inventively integrate the ephemeral by-products of past wars—excavated shrapnel and bullet lead, soldiers' uniforms, telegrams and love letters home, mourning clothing, and hair lockets—and harken back to the aesthetics of material culture in antebellum era America.

Coming at the end of a trilogy of exhibitions based upon the experiences of an anonymous, time-traveling soldier, Robleto's newest work brings the soldier home to encounter the ramifications of war upon the family. Robleto asks us to imagine how, over time, the missing soldier served as an inspiration for his counterpart—a waiting wife, a sister, a mother—to produce the objects in the exhibition. This idea of healing and redemption through creative production is recognized through the form and content of the works and, also, through the artist’s own process of making.

Robleto is heavily influenced by DJ culture and the theory and practice of mixing and sampling; to enter his world is to understand that “everything is made from something”—that a piece of music (even without the sound) has a composer, a score, instruments—and that all of this, on a molecular level, persists throughout time, even as it mutates over the years. As Barry Schwabsky writes about the artist in Artforum, his work acts, “as if to claim that a person's soul must be re-embodied in the flowers that have sprouted from his corpse.” The artist's extreme care and craftsmanship makes his work convincing as actual artifacts. But Robleto's intention is neither to deceive us nor to evoke nostalgia for the past; rather, it is to insist upon and reinforce the vital relevance of the past to the present, and to our future.

Artist’s Bio

Dario Robleto (b. 1972, San Antonio, TX) received his BFA in 1997 from the University of Texas-San Antonio. Solo exhibitions include Fear and Tenderness in Men, D’Amelio Terras (opening early September 2006); Diary of a Resurrectionist at Galerie Praz-Delavallade, Paris; Say Goodbye to Substance at the Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, New York; A Surgeon, A Scalpel, and a Soul at Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; and The Polar Soul at ArtPace, San Antonio. Group exhibitions include Whitney Biennial (2004), Treble, Sculpture Center, New York (2004); and Rock My World, California College of Arts and Crafts, San Francisco (2002) among many others. He is represented by Inman Gallery, Houston and D’Amelio Terras, New York.

Dario Robleto: Chrysanthemum Anthems will travel to the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT (March 11 - June 24, 2007) and the Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, TN (August 25 - November 4, 2007). A 64-page catalogue, designed by PictureBox, Inc. in collaboration with the artist includes an essay by curator Xandra Eden and full color images of Robleto's recent work. The catalogue is for sale in the museum shop. Special thanks to Inman Gallery, Houston and D'Amelio Terras, New York for their support of the publication.

Robleto is on the UNCG campus from September 23-27, 2006 for his Falk Visiting Artist residency. 

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