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Dario Robleto: Alloy of Love Opens at The Frye Art Museum
Dario Robleto. A Color God Never Made, 2004-05. Cast and carved de-carbonized bone dust, bone calcium, military-issued glass eyes for wounded soldiers coated with ground trinitite, (glass produced during the first atomic test explosion from Trinity test site, c. 1945, when heat from blast melted surrounding sand), fragments of a soldier’s personal mirror salvaged from a battlefield, soldiers’ uniform material and thread from various wars, melted bullet lead and shrapnel from various wars, fragments of a soldier’s letter home, woven human hair of a war widow, bittersweet leaves, solder-made clay marbles, battlefield dirt, cast bronze teeth, dried rosebuds, porcupine quill, excavated dog tags, rust, velvet, walnut. 51 x 48 x 21 in. Collection of the artist, San Antonio.
SEATTLE.- Alloy of Love, by San Antonio artist Dario Robleto, chronicles a decade of work and includes pivotal examples of the artist’s sculptures and collages. Robleto is well known for intricately hand-crafted objects that reflect the artist’s passionate investigations into a wide range of subjects, including music, popular culture, science, philosophy, war, and American history. The artist spins new narratives out of the vast inventory of our past, utilizing such diverse and unusual materials as melted and pulverized vinyl records, artifacts gleaned from battlefields or related to war, rare herbs and minerals, and even prehistoric fossils and human bones. Inspired by DJ culture’s practice of mixing and sampling, Robleto combines and refashions his materials into poetic artworks that reveal much about history and nostalgia.

Along the way, the artist pays homage to many important figures (such as singers Billie Holiday and Aretha Franklin and the Space Shuttle Columbia astronauts) as well as anonymous individuals, including soldiers and widows, who have contributed to the legacy of our nation, and whose stories, resurrected through art, reinforce the relevance of the past on the present and to our future. The resulting artworks are much more than just the sum of their constituent parts or factual interpretations of particular events and personalities; rather, they are sincere and emotional meditations on love, loss, spirituality, and ultimately, healing.

Born in 1972, Robleto received his BFA in 1997 from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Solo exhibitions include those at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina; the Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria; and the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. His artwork has been collected by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; the Whitney Museum of American Art; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others.

Alloy of Love is curated by Elizabeth Dunbar, Arthouse at the Jones Center, Austin, Tex., and organized by the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in collaboration with the Frye Art Museum. It is coordinated for the Frye by Robin Held, chief curator and director of exhibitions and collections.

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