Exhibition: Duke Windsor: Radiance / A Solo Show


December 1, 2019

On View Through:

March 1, 2020

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Sparks Gallery is pleased to announce a new solo show featuring San Diego artist Duke Windsor. The exhibition features a new collection of Windsor’s work focusing on the power of gold leaf to evoke a feeling of wanderlust, ambling through the back streets of local San Diego neighborhoods.

RADIANCE was featured on the Jazz 88.3 “Inside Art” program discussing artist Duke Windsor’s solo exhibition at Sparks Gallery {Listen In HERE}

Duke Windsor served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a radio operator, combat illustrator and drill instructor. After leaving the service, Windsor was a freelance illustrator and amateur rodeo cowboy, competing in bull-riding, bareback and steer wrestling events. He subsequently studied classical voice at San Diego State University and performed professionally with the San Diego Opera Chorus. Windsor holds the rank of 4th Degree Black Belt in Kempo martial arts, and he continues to be an active singer-songwriter, guitar player and solo performer.

Duke Windsor is currently an instructor of drawing and painting at Art on 30th Street; he also offers a wide range of artist development workshops throughout San Diego County. Windsor has extensive experience in museum exhibition design and installation experience, and has worked in across San Diego in various museums and cultural centers.

// Exhibition on view DECEMBER 1, 2019 – MARCH 1, 2020

From the Artist:

GOLD is the color of extravagance, wealth, riches, and excess, and shares several of the same attributes of the color yellow. The color gold is a warm color that can be either bright and cheerful or somber and traditional. Its cousins, the color yellow and the color brown, are also associated with illumination, love, compassion, courage, passion, magic, and wisdom. In Art, the Golden Mean or Golden Ratio is the theory that all of the natural world has a perfect symmetry by divine design.

Gold is attributed to the spiritual reverence held of ancient gods in worship. The Golden Rule in the Old Testament refers to the high standard of treating everyone equally. Gold is a symbol of divinity and is mentioned throughout the Bible. Pagan idols were often made from gold, and the Ark of the Covenant was overlaid with gold. The gift of gold to the Christ child was symbolic of his divinity – God in the flesh.

Many art masters have influenced me. In 1999, I began working for the San Diego Museum of Art as a gallery preparator. While there, I was exposed to original works by Goya, Rembrandt, Eastman Johnson, Eisenstadt, Moran, Monet, and De Kooning, and I had the opportunity to experience the drawings and sculptures of Degas.

My paintings express the wonder and power of light, and I’ve always been drawn to the golden sunlight of Southern California. This professional artistic journey began in 1994. As I cut through alleys on my way to martial arts practice, I noticed how the sunset glowed through the buildings. The golden shafts of light in contrast to the vibrant blues of the shadows greatly influenced my work. I found new inspiration from the radiance of the sun.
The Golden Skies series came about after several years of experimenting with ways to express this light in my urban/rural cityscapes in a fresh and meaningful way. This experimentation came to fruition when I was inspired to utilize gold leaf after viewing the works of Gustav Klimt. Later, while visiting the Timken Museum in Balboa Park, I viewed the collection of Russian Icons on wood panels. The reverence and visceral experience I felt from the luminance of these traditional Icon works further inspired me. In the art world, gold leaf techniques are often considered as merely decorative art. My goal is to advance gold leaf as a contemporary medium.

On view in this exhibit are many contemporary cityscapes as well as still life. The illumination in these works, seen from various angles, will give the viewer a unique and new perspective on the piece. The shift in light will also change the dynamics of the works, depending on the ambient light source and the angle in which the artwork is viewed. When applying gold leaf, I found that the medium added a spiritual quality to the work, as well as a radiance, which I hope the viewer will also experience.” –Duke Windsor

//Also, join us on January 29, 2020 to explore the process of gilding in gold leaf with the artist. No experience necessary. Guests will be able to learn the history, tools, materials and techniques of applying gold leaf to artwork by using both traditional and experimental techniques.

Opening reception wine sales to benefit The Escondido Arts Partnership.
Guests who RSVP receive one free drink ticket

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