Dario Robleto
The Dismantled Sun

Dario Robleto
The Dismantled Sun


Dario Robleto, The Dismantled Sun, 2012. Cyanotypes of various
astronomers’ historical drawings of solar eclipses, watercolor paper, curly
maple, gold-mirrored Plexiglas, linseed oil, brass, 67 3⁄4 x 29 1⁄4 x 29 1⁄4
inches (overall dimension with pedestal and vitrine). Courtesy Praz-
October 7, 2013

Dario Robleto
The Dismantled Sun

October 12–November 16, 2013

Opening: October 12, 5–8pm

5 Rue Des Haudriettes
75003 Paris 


Praz-Delavallade is pleased to present Dario Robleto’s latest exhibition The Dismantled Sun which comprises sculptures, installations and works on paper. In preparing this exhibition, Robleto has continued investigating his themes of choice: music, science and the notions of absence, death and resurrection. In The Dismantled Sun, Robleto has taken a particular interest in the connection between that feeling of wonderment and the pleasure that comes with the discovery of the beauties of nature, and the pleasure that results from music and the typical behaviour of fans and their devotion to a singer or band. 

The main component of The Dismantled Sun, the piece which gives its name to the exhibition, is a small wooden box containing a collection of cyanotypes representing historical drawings of solar eclipses. The small box in The Moon Won’t Let You Down contains Van Dyke prints of ‘super moon’ photos. In the early days of photography, represented here by the use of these two early printing processes, one of the greatest challenges was to capture the light of the celestial bodies. For Robleto, this quest is the metaphor of a more up-to-date difficulty—the music buff’s desire to capture something real and authentic in our increasingly digital world. The only real way a fan can grasp a moment of reality is during a concert. In Untitled (Shadows Evade The Sun), the artist uses a collection of photos taken by fans during different concerts. All that can be seen however are the stage lights; the actual artist is nowhere to be seen. These amateur photographers probably missed their shot because they were jostled by a movement in the crowd. Instead of the photo of a star, they only managed to photograph the star’s absence and yet, they unintentionally captured something just as meaningful: the light illuminating the singer. 

The very existence of these photos leads us to consider another issue evoked by Robleto in his work. Today we tend to sort through our photos before they are printed and not after as was previously the case. Accidents are almost systematically deleted. This observation about our digital society is even more pertinent in the realm of music where the analogical/digital opposition is a recurrent debate. If Robleto doesn’t take position, he nevertheless portrays vinyl records and tapes as things of the past, things that have been forgotten or are long dead and transformed into something else. In The Half-Life of Light, the artist has pulled out and stretched the tape from audio cassettes of the first and last recordings by various musicians, then given it the form of feathers: one feather for the first recording and one for the last, summing up an entire artistic life in two feathers. These musical supports of the past provide material for numerous other works in the exhibition. Associated with nature, and particularly Man’s former discoveries, our musical heritage evolves and comes back to life as a new hybrid life form. 

And yet for Robleto, it would be too easy to reduce nature to its sole capacity of assimilation. The artist compares nature in general, and the sun in particular to the creative process and without a doubt; the most meaningful example is The Sun Makes Him Sing Again. The accompanying caption says it all: a three-part cyanotype with sunlight and ghost images of the original handwritten lyrics of an unreleased Michael Jackson song. Using the cyanotype printing technique combined with sunlight has a symbolical role here: It breathes a breath of life into these unknown lyrics by a dead singer, highlighting ‘what might have been.’ The question is therefore legitimate: what if Sun Ra (the musician that Robleto evokes in Shadows Evade The Sun) was right and Space Is The Place

Dario Robleto lives and works in Houston. He attended the Universities of Texas, San Antonio and El Paso in the 1990s. In the past few years, he had solo exhibitions at New Orleans Museum of Art, Des Moines Art Center, MCA Denver, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, FRAC Languedoc-Rousillon, Montpellier, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. Next year, the Menil Collection and the Baltimore Museum of Art will dedicate him an exhibition. His work is present in many public and private collections.

For all inquiries please contact Silvia Ammon: silvia [​at​] praz-delavallade.com or T +33 1 45 86 20 00.


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October 7, 2013

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