When: Thu., Sept. 20, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
One of San Antonio’s most celebrated artistic exports, Houston-based Dario Robleto has exhibited all over the U.S., is represented in numerous permanent collections and is currently an artist-in-residence at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute. Deeply inspired by DJ culture and the uncharted intersections between art and science, Robleto creates works that encompass a vast assortment of media. While certain projects, like 2014’s American Seabed, transport seashells, butterflies, “fossilized prehistoric whale ear bones” and other elements into complex assemblages that suggest preserved slices of otherworldly ecosystems, others sample imagery — such as his triptych Survival Does Not Lie in the Heavens, which presents “stage lights taken from the album covers of live performances of now-deceased gospel, blues and jazz musicians” in constellations reminiscent of distant galaxies captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. As difficult as it might be to visualize, these various lines of creative inquiry criss-cross cohesively in the McNay’s “Ancient Beacons Long for Notice,” a compact survey comprising mixed-media collages, prints, intricate assemblages and The First Time, the Heart — a series of 50 photolithographs based on early recordings of the human heart reacting to situations ranging from an “experiment with cannabis” in 1874 to a case of hiccups in 1886. On Thursday, Robleto will shed light on his fascinating work in the exhibition as well as his “unorthodox studio practice” during a conversation with René Paul Barilleaux, the McNay’s head of curatorial affairs.