Dario Robleto

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Dario Robleto
Robleto image 02.jpeg
Born 1972
Residence Houston, TX
Occupation artist
Home town San Antonio, TX

Dario Robleto (born 1972) is an American transdisciplinary artist, storyteller, and “citizen-scientist”. His research-driven practice results in intricately handcrafted objects that reflect his exploration of music, popular culture, science, war, and American history. He is currently represented by Inman Gallery in Houston, Praz-Delavallade in Paris, and ACME. in Los Angeles.

Early Life and Education[edit]

Robleto was born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1972 and he received his BFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 1997.


Robleto uses unexpected materials such as melted vinyl records, dinosaur bones, meteorites, glass produced by atomic explosions, lost heartbeat recordings from the 19th century, and he transforms these artifacts from the vast inventory of humanity’s collective past into delicately layered objects that are sincere and personal meditations on love, death, eroding memory, and healing.

A self-described “materialist poet,” Robleto emphasizes the relationship between language and materials as a crucial component to his approach. “Liner notes,” usually in the form of a wall label, accompany many of the works, poetically detailing the sources embedded therein. A great appreciator of DJ culture, and a former DJ himself, Robleto considers his work a mixtape or “sampling” of humanity; he remixes forgotten stories and materials and reconstructs them into new artistic forms as a lens to view the future through the past.

Increasingly, Robleto has been participating in activities outside the art world. In 2015 he was appointed Artist in Residence in Neuroaesthetics at the University of Houston's Cullen College of Engineering,[1] and he was invited to co-organize the 2016 International Conference on Mobile Brain-Body Imaging and the Neuroscience of Art, Innovation, and Creativity.[2] In 2015 Robleto and Contreras-Vidal coauthored a scholarly paper titled "Your Brain on Art: Emergent Cortical Dynamics During Aesthetic Experiences”. The study considered “the brain response to conceptual art [as] studied with mobile electroencephalography (EEG) to examine the neural basis of aesthetic experiences.”[3] In February 2016, Robleto was coeditor of "Mobile Brain/Body Imaging and the Neuroscience of Art, Innovation and Creativity" in a special issue of the science journal Frontiers of Human Neuroscience.

Robleto is currently one of six artists in the Artists-in-Residence program at the prestigious SETI Institute[4] in Mountain View, CA, and in 2015 he joined a distinguished team of scientists as the artistic consultant on the Breakthrough Initiatives, which is the most extensive effort to find intelligent life beyond Earth to date. Specifically, Robleto will work on the Breakthrough Message project—a multi-national effort that aims to encourage intellectual and technical debate about how and what to communicate if the current search for intelligent beings beyond Earth is successful.

Teaching and Lecturing[edit]

Robleto has been a visiting artist and lecturer at many universities and institutions including Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA; and the Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD. In 2013-2014 he served as the California College of the Arts Viola Frey Distinguished Visiting Professor, Oakland, CA, and in 2014-2016 he was an artist in residence at Maryland Institute College of Art.

Awards and Recognitions[edit]

Awards have included the 2004 International Association of Art Critics Award for best exhibition in a commercial gallery at the national level. The exhibition was Roses in the Hospital / Men Are The New Women at Inman Gallery in 2003. In 2007 he was a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant and in 2009 he was a recipient of the USA Rasmuson Fellowship. Robleto has been a research fellow and resident at institutions such as the Menil Collection (2014); Rice University (2013-14); and the Smithsonian Museum of American History (2011). He was recently appointed as the 2016 Texas State Artist Laureate, and he currently sits on the Board of Directors of Artpace.[5]

Robleto has participated in many residencies including the Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA, in 2014; and Artpace, San Antonio, TX, in 2004.

Selected Solo Exhibitions[edit]


  • Setlists For a Setting Sun, The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD
  • The Boundary of Life is Quietly Crossed, The Menil Collection, Houston, TX


  • The Prelives of the Blues, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA


  • Survival Does Not Lie in the Heavens, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA
  • An Instinct Toward Life, Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, CO


  • Alloy of Love, The Francis Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY; traveled to the Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA


  • Chrysanthemum Anthems, Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC; traveled to Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT; Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, TN


  • Say Goodbye to Substance, Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, New York, NY

Selected Group Exhibitions[edit]


  • The Future We Remember, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC
  • Explode Every Day: An Inquiry into the Phenomena of Wonder, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA
  • Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC (forthcoming Fall 2016)


  • 20 Years/20 Shows, SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM


  • DIRGE: Reflections on (Life and) Death, Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH


  • MORE LOVE ART, POLITICS, and SHARING Since the 1990s, Ackland Museum of Art, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC; traveled to Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art, Nashville, TN


  • More Real? Art in the Age of Truthiness, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN; traveled to SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM


  • The Spectacular of Vernacular, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; traveled to Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX; Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ; Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC


  • The Record: Contemporary ART and VINYL, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC; traveled to Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA; Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL; Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA


  • The Old, Weird America, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX; traveled to DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA; Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA


  • 2004 Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

Selected Public collections[edit]

Selected Catalogues[edit]

  • Dirge: Reflections on [Life and Death], Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Cleaveland, OH (2014)
  • Art and Alchemy: The Mystery of Transformation, Munich, Germany (2014)
  • MORE LOVE: ART, POLITICS, and SHARING Since the 1990s. Chapel Hill, NC: Ackland Art Museum (2014)
  • 110 Favorites from the Collection, The University of Texas Press, Austin, TX (2013)
  • Disembodied: Portrait Miniatures and Their Contemporary Relatives, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (2013)
  • Dario Robleto: Prelives of the Blues, New Orleans Museum of Art (2012)
  • MO/RE/RE/AL? Art In The Age of Truthiness, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN (2012)
  • An Instinct Toward Life, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (2011)
  • Spectacular of Vernacular, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (2011)
  • Dario Robleto: Survival Does Not Lie In The Heavens, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA (2011)
  • The Record: Contemporary ART and VINYL, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC (2010)
  • Alloy of Love, Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Saratoga Springs, NY (2008)
  • The Old, Weird America: Folk Themes in Contemporary Art, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX (2008)
  • Chrysanthemum Anthems, The Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC (2007)


  1. ^ "Three Appointed as Engineering Artists-in-Residence in Neuroaesthetics". UH Cullen College of Engineering. Retrieved 2016-01-22. 
  2. ^ "Schedule". Your Brain on Art Conference. Retrieved 2016-01-21. 
  3. ^ Kontson, Kimberly L.; Megjhani, Murad; Brantley, Justin A.; Cruz-Garza, Jesus G.; Nakagome, Sho; Robleto, Dario; White, Michelle; Civillico, Eugene; Contreras-Vidal, Jose L. "Your Brain on Art: Emergent Cortical Dynamics During Aesthetic Experiences". Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 9. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2015.00626. PMC 4649259free to read. PMID 26635579. 
  4. ^ "SETI AIR: The SETI Institute's Artists in Residence Program | SETI Institute". www.seti.org. Retrieved 2016-01-21. 
  5. ^ "Our Board of Directors  » Artpace". www.artpace.org. Retrieved 2016-01-07. 

External links[edit]

  1. ^ "Conversation with Ann Druyan and Dario Robleto on The Golden Record". Vimeo. Retrieved 2016-01-22.