press release

The Gospel of Lead is an exhibition that brings together, through a collaborative engagement, the recent work of Dario Robleto and Jeremy Blake.

Dario Robleto and Jeremy Blake continually push the limits of sculpture and painting/digital media, respectively. Robleto’s sculptures, concocted with a mix of unlikely, rare ingredients listed on the accompanying labels, purport a form of ‘time-travel’ as various elements are alchemically combined, forming a sculptural amalgam of the past, present and future. Commonly used elements include melted or crushed vinyl records of songs significant to the particular work, lead from Civil War bullets, and crushed bone dust from every bone in the human body. Robleto recently completed a trilogy of sculptural works entitled Southern Bacteria, relating to war, the physical embodiment of nostalgia and the haunting wounds of violence in American history.

For Arthouse, Robleto ‘re-mixes’ a selection of works from Southern Bacteria along with a number of new works to dialogue with Jeremy Blake’s own recent trilogy including Winchester, 1906, and Century 21, based on The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California. The entire trilogy, a suite of animations comprised of hand-painted imagery, film footage, vector graphics, and composed sound in a process the artist calls "time-based painting," was recently presented as part of a solo exhibition of Blake’s work at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The pairing of Robleto and Blake is particularly resonant as the two artists’ work shares affinities in their investigation of pop mythology, historical phenomenon and memory.

In these recent works, the artists explore the history of violence and its psychological affects in America. The Winchester Mystery House – a bizarre 160-room 19th century Victorian mansion built by heiress Sarah Winchester is an architectural wonder born out of a creative dementia. Through its historical narrative we learn of a desperate attempt to accommodate the ghosts of those killed by the rifles that made the Winchester name famous. The Gospel of Lead is another chapter in the narrative of the Winchester House. The exhibition invokes a parallel reality by imagining what objects and ephemera might have actually inhabited the Winchester House.

Dario Robleto is a San Antonio-based artist who has received impressive international attention. He recently received the first place award for Best Show in a Commercial Gallery, Nationally from the International Association of Art Critics and was included in the 2004 Whitney Biennial. Los Angeles-based Jeremy Blake has made a name for himself in the art world and beyond with work featured in numerous solo exhibitions and in group shows such as : 010101: Art in Technological Times at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the 2002 and 2004 Whitney Biennials. In 2005, SFMOMA presented the U.S. premier of Blake’s recently completed Winchester trilogy. While Blake has collaborated in the past, most notably with director P.T. Anderson on the feature film IPunch Drunk Love, and the musician Beck, this will be his first collaboration with visual artist.

A full-color catalog featuring essays written by curator Regine Basha and Los Angeles-based critic, Michael Duncan will accompany the exhibition.

The Gospel of Lead: Dario Robleto and Jeremy Blake is supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Austin Ventures.


The Gospel of Lead: Dario Robleto and Jeremy Blake
A collaborative exhibition
Kurator: Regine Basha