Building the Noble Ruin: My First Solo Exhibition at Patton-Malott Gallery

February 3, 2015

“We celebrate ruins because they offer a doorway into the past.  If we use our imaginations to supply the missing elements, we can step into a majesty which once was. We can experience a brief and shining moment, a whisp of fleeting glory without the knowledge of what comes next. Standing among the ruins we know that out of them rises a nobility that could not have been realized otherwise. Ruins simultaneously share the past, present and future.”  – Daniel Dallabrida

Exploring a dramatic interplay between ceramic, projection, photography and painting Dallabrida shares two related bodies of work.  In each, he applies and excavates layers of material to uncover the nobility that rises from ruin. Building the Noble Ruin will be on view from February 2-27, 2015.

An artist reception/talk will be held Thursday, February 26, 2015 from 5 – 7 p.m.

There will also be a special reception in association with AspenOut, a non-profit that provides support and services to the Roaring Fork Valley’s diverse LBGT population. The AspenOut reception will be held on Friday, Feb 27 from 5:30 — 8 p.m. Refreshments provided.

With the series Upon Reflection, Dallabrida starts with found and iconic photographs from the gay community’s Golden Age—a brilliant flash of deliverance, impunity, sovereignty and immunity that characterized San Francisco before it was devastated by AIDS. With installation and projection Dallabrida pulls the essence of these historic images into the present using a manipulative technique he calls “Sympathetic Photoshop.”

The Ruins series starts with the creation of multi-layered ceramic tablets offering  a personal language of symbols and textures. Dallabrida then uses high resolution, macroscopic photography to pull us deep into the ceramic, presenting an intimate new geography for the viewer to investigate. Both the ceramic tablets and photographic details are on display.

Speaking to each other, the works presented in Building the Noble Ruin consider the characteristics of nobility as well as the metaphoric and very real aspects of ruin.

“What is a noble ruin?” Dallabrida says. “Every morning when I shave I greet my noble ruin. My most honest memoir.”

Ruins and Upon Reflection were initiated during Dallabrida’s time as an artist-in-residence at Anderson Ranch in the fall of 2012. 

Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, CA celebrates artists, art-making, critical dialog and community. For more information on programs, call 970.923.3181, email, or visit the website


As the show comes together, it starts to develop its own character.

The First Tattoo / Primo tatuaggio, 1976-2014


Upon Reflection (Life): Fraternitas Misericordia, settles into its place.

Fraternitas Misericordia At Peace Before the Deluge / In pace prima del diluvio, 1964-2015



Searching for Huzan in Fragments of Clay /Cercando Huzan in frammenti di ceramica, 2015


Ceramic, pigment, c-print Edition of 10 26 x 36 in.

All the Light We Cannot See / Tutte le luci che non possiamo vedere, 2015


Outside the gallery, men hang around.

Another angel in the city of night / Un altro angelo nella città della notte, 1982-2014


Ceramic, steel 15 x 15 in.

A Single Garment of Destiny / Un singolo indumento del Destino, 1996-2015



Tonight, forth ripple messages in code / Stanotte. nell’incresparsi di messaggi in codice, 1981-2014


Ceramic, pigment, c-print Edition of 10 36 x 26 in.

To Part the Darkness, Slightly / Confinando la notte pian piano, 1992-2015


Projection, graphite, charcoal, c-print Edition of 15 21 x 30 in.

We celebrated the darkness as though the darkness did not exist / Celebravamo il buio pensando che il buio non esistesse, 1981-2004

Ceramic, pigment, c-print Edition of 10 26 x 26 in.

A Single Garment of Destiny / Un singolo indumento del Destino, 1996-2015

Ceramic, pigment, c-print Edition of 10 26 x 39 in.

32 Years of Grace / 32 Anni di grazia, 1983-2015

And then begins the process of setting the lights to highlight the are and capture the best shadows.

انا احبك / I Love You, Dude / Ti voglio bene, amico mio, 1977-2015

Projection, graphite, charcoal, c-print Edition of 15 20 x 43.5 in.

Bliss was it that dawn to be alive, but to be young was Heaven / Era una beatitudine in quell’alba essere vivi. Ma essere giovani era il paradiso!, 1982-2014

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