Colophon page from "The First Time, The Heart (A Portrait of Life 1854-1913)", 2017

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Dario Robleto’s print portfolio "The First Time, The Heart: A Portrait of Life 1854-1913" is equal parts art, science, and historical narrative. The portfolio consists of an extended series of images of heartbeat waveform recordings originating from the 19th and early 20th centuries, a period when scientists perfected their ability to detect and measure the human heartbeat. Each heartbeat waveform is accompanied by a descriptive text detailing the conditions or emotional circumstances under which the recording was made. The sequencing of images within the installation may vary, representing a unique creative and conceptual collaboration with the artist.

Robleto said of his heartbeat project: “The human quest to represent our bodily form is ancient. From the earliest known cave drawings tracing the curvature of a hand, the masterworks of the human figure by Leonardo di Vinci, even modern medical imaging that maps the terrain of our brains at the level of the neuron, humans have yearned to understand themselves and others through marks and images. Perhaps this deep-rooted desire found its most essential form through the invention of an image we often take for granted, and which for the first time in history gave us visual access to the living heart: the pulse wave.”

Colophon page from "The First Time, The Heart (A Portrait of Life 1854-1913)"
Artist Life
born 1972
Accession Number
Island Press at Washington University, St. Louis, Mo. (publisher); (Inman Gallery, Houston, Texas); sold to MIA, 2018.
Curator Approved

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