Dario Robleto: An Instinct Toward Life, Exhibition Catalogue

Dario Robleto: An Instinct Toward Life, Exhibition Catalogue

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The title of MCA Denver's exhibition, Dario Robleto: An Instinct Toward Life, encapsulates the central ambition of Robleto's work: to bear witness to modernism's past, but to do so by highlighting those historical episodes in which the human spirit poignantly endures.  These life-affirming moments fuel Robleto's intention to enunciate a tragedy or trauma, but to do so without gesturing toward shock, spectacle, or over-simplification.  Robleto's work situates itself in that narrow conceptual space between documentation and narrative; he composes stories based on material evidence, but in his innovative re-arrangement of these objects, he parlays data into emotion.  His interpretive lens and his laborious process achieve what no fable or fairy tale could do: authenticate real, lived experience.  

Presenting work from the last decade, this exhibition focuses on a selection of the artist's sculpture born of his direct response to the events of September 11th, 2001, and the ensuing commencement of America's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  The presentation addresses the ways in which the experience of the battle and the home fronts can be powerfully evoked, enunciated, and embedded in a work of art.  

The exhibition encompasses Robleto's nearly ten-year narrative of a time-traveling soldier of the artist's invention.  Robleto imagined this figure as a ghostly presence who inhabits each work through his letters, weaponry, uniforms, music, and literature, all of which narrate and throw into relief the wartime experience.  

-Nora Burnett Abrams, PHD
Ellen Bruss Curator and Director of Planning 

Dario Robleto: An Instinct Toward Life was on view at MCA Denver in 2011.