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Evocative works by San Antonio artist Dario Robleto now at the Tang

Posted: 10/02/2008

Dario Robleto: Alloy of Love is the first major museum survey of work by the San Antonio-based artist. On view at Skidmore’s Tang Museum through Jan.25, 2009, the exhibition chronicles a decade of Robleto’s works, including pivotal examples of his sculptures and collages.

The works selected reflect the artist’s wide-ranging interest in topics like science, music, popular culture, philosophy, war, and American history, and also demonstrate his ability to transform an array of startlingly disparate materials—melted vinyl records, battlefield artifacts, rare herbs, minerals, and even prehistoric fossils and human bones—into poetic works that speak to nostalgia, the present, and the future.

By melting, grinding, or otherwise irrevocably altering his original material, Robleto is able to radically reshape it into new, wholly unrecognizable forms. For example, Robleto’s list of materials used to make At War with the Entropy of Nature/Ghosts Don’t Always Want to Come Back (2002), includes trinitite, which is “glass produced during the first atomic test explosion at the Trinity test site, c. 1945, when heat from the blast melted surrounding sand. Also included are “soldiers’ voices from battlefields of various wars, made from Electric Voice Phenomena recordings: voices and sounds of the dead or past, detected through magnetic audiotape.”

Central to Robleto’s practice is the role of language, in both his titles and the detailed material lists that appear in the wall text for each artwork; among some of Robleto’s more evocative titles are If a Meteorite Falls on Your Head Then God Was Aiming (2002) and Not All Dead Rather Be Living (2001-02).

In an upcoming public event accompanying the exhibition, Robleto will present an artist lecture at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, followed by a DJ Dialogue Dance Party 10 p.m.–midnight.

For titles and more details about the artworks, click on the individual thumbnails. For more information, call the Tang Museum at 518-580-8080 or go to the Tang website.

All photographs courtesy of the Tang Museum

Click on a thumbnail to view larger image and scroll through entire gallery