D’Amelio Terras is pleased to present The Minor Chords Are Ours, its second solo exhibition with Dario Robleto. In recent years, Robleto’s handcrafted sculptures have integrated a variety of historical objects to explore themes of war, mourning, and the fragile relationship between humans and the natural environment. In The Minor Chords Are Ours, Robleto returns to a material essential to his earlier work: the vinyl record. Records have long been used as a means of artistic expression for many contemporary artists, as the exhibition The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl organized by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, which features Robleto’s work, testifies to. Trevor Schoonmaker writes in the catalogue essay, “Artists…engage with records in many ways: as performance or critique, icon, document or archive, artifact, metaphor, portrait, or transcendent object.”
For Robleto, the material of the vinyl record and the graphics of album covers allows him to explore a universal musical culture and the ways in which our experiences of music shape our identity. This body of work asks the question: How do familial music choices, made before you were born, set the tone for the rest of your life? And how is this sensibility handed down, perhaps subconsciously, through each succeeding generation? Robleto acknowledges the influence of others’ musical choices on ones own identity, as he works mostly from his personal, his mother’s and his grandmother’s music collection as both physical and conceptual source material, but also suggesting a similar story can be told from everyone’s familial musical lineage. Working from this multigenerational perspective, Robleto samples a collective musical heritage as he melts down vinyl discs and excerpts or erases imagery from album covers. Stripped of specific reference to performers, the album covers and other ephemera are reworked into encrypted ciphers while the melted vinyl takes new symbolic forms. Also extending his interest in mourning traditions, these works reflect on death from an unusual perspective – the loss of a band member, a favorite artist, and even the slow death of the album itself. Like the vinyl’s permanently pressed spiral groove that persists as a map of once realized melodic potential, Robleto’s works take on a new state of being while remaining carriers of a shared history.
Dario Robleto is currently featured in the solo exhibition An Instinct Toward Life, on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver from February 4 through May 15, 2011. He is also featured in group exhibitions The Spectacular of Vernacular at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN and The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl, organized by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in Durham, NC. This exhibition will travel to the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL, and The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA. Robleto has a forthcoming solo exhibition at the Des Moines Art Center in Des Moines, IA. Robleto’s work is included in numerous public collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC; The Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY among others.