Frye Art Museum

"2008 is not even half over, and I'm putting money on Dario Robleto's new exhibition at the Frye Art Museum as the Seattle exhibition of the year."

Jen Graves, The Stranger

Heaven is Being a Memory to Others

April 26 – August 10, 2008

Heaven is Being a Memory to Others deepens Dario Robleto’s ongoing exploration of our yearning for immortality, as it might be seen from the perspective of lovers, artists, or soldiers. Combining new sculptural works by Robleto with more than twenty paintings selected by the artist from the Frye Collections, the exhibition is the culmination of the artist’s spring 2007 residency at the Museum.

While researching the Museum Collections, Robleto became intrigued by how few details exist about the life of the Museum’s cofounder, Emma Lamp Frye. Her missing biographical details became a point of departure for Heaven, in which Robleto imagines the roles Emma might have played as lover, bride, wife, thwarted mother, music lover, art collector, and civic benefactress. Aiming to “know the Frye collection through Emma’s eyes, through her history,” Robleto has selected for the exhibition psychologically charged portraits of heroes, socialites, and family groups by Franz von Lenbach; images of female martyrs by Gabriel Cornelius Ritter von Max; and sentimental depictions of children by Ludwig Zumbusch. Robleto’s new sculptures, created especially for Heaven, were inspired by his work in the Collections.

Heaven was organized in conjunction with Alloy of Love, a ten-year survey of Robleto’s art. The simultaneous installation of these exhibitions marks the first time the Museum has been dedicated to the examination of the work of a single artist from different perspectives. Following its premiere at the Frye, Alloy of Love travels to the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College. The Frye’s presentation of Heaven is the only opportunity to see this one-of-a-kind, site-specific installation.

Heaven is Being a Memory to Others is cocurated by Robleto and Frye Chief Curator and Director of Exhibitions and Collections Robin Held.

Image credits:
Dario Robleto. An Instinct Toward Life Only A Phantom Can Know, 2007-2008. 19th c. wedding dress, mourning dresses, cut colored paper, homemade paper (cotton, ground passion flower), 19th c. mourning fabric and ribbon, cast black amber, carved ivory, silk, tulle, typeset. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist. Photograph by Adam L. Weintraub.
Grigory Gluckmann. Young Woman, Head & Shoulders, not dated. Oil on panel. 13 13/16 x 10 5/8 in. Frye Art Museum purchase 1971.
Franz von Lenbach. Otto von Bismarck, 1896. Oil on fabric. 37 1/16 x 33 1/2 in. Charles and Emma Frye Collection.
Dario Robleto. Time Measures Nothing But This Love, 2007-2008. Hand blown hourglasses, stretched and pulled audio tape recordings of the voices of the world’s oldest married couple (80 years), stretched and pulled audio tape of the earliest audio recording of time (experimental clock, 1878), ground resurrection plant, ground rosebuds and rosehips, fir, satin, brass, iron, leather, typeset. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist. Photograph by Adam L. Weintraub.
Gabriel Cornelius Ritter von Max. Soap Bubbles, c. 1880. Oil on fabric. 42 1/2 x 31 3/4 in. Charles and Emma Frye Collection.