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"Gustavo Duque Rails at Crimes against Humanity

(...) Duque suggests that an unstructured brutality and ugliness consumes our society. He accomplishes this by ratcheting up the IV drip of tension among his nameless protagonists. Rather than offering solutions to these problems, Duque’s work invites the viewer to draw their own conclusions regarding society’s ills. In works such as Nightmare, Powerless and The Power of Terror, the artist confronts the spectator as a chronicler of the bleak fringes of the human condition. He evokes an intense image of anxiety or the aftermath of a terrible calamity. With these commanding and enigmatic paintings Duque reaches a new level of achievement in formal abstract terms. He does so without diminishing the power of his ongoing themes or surrendering his hope for a better world."

Irreversible, An International Art Project Magazine, December 2010

"Life InVerse"

“Life InVerse” not only represents a departure for the Colombian-born painter, but more emphatically it reflects the self awareness and intense introspection of the artist activist regarding his analytical observations on the unease permeating contemporary society in our uncertain times. For someone who has studied the artist’s career intently since the late 1990’s, it comes as no surprise that Duque’s first solo show in New Orleans in several years is marked so profoundly by his adopted city. Following the ravages of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the death of his eldest son, Steven, while serving the U.S. Coast Guard in 2006, the artist turned his sights inward and initiated a period of meditation and pictorial experimentation evident in his current body of work. Not unlike Goya observing the sleep of reason, Duque remains committed to exploring the tortured history of social injustice and continues producing complex, powerful works embedded with a thoughtful, dark intelligence, sense of irony and a healthy skepticism that succeeds in eschewing heavy-handed references. Present in these large and medium-sized canvas and paper paintings (…) are magnetic, new chromatic ranges and an atmospheric luminosity infused with just the pitch perfect amount of variation on his familiar brand of moody, existentialist imagery to keep art  audiences spellbound. His mastery of nuanced expressiveness remains notable. As before, in his earlier desolate landscapes, populated by forlorn, anonymous figures, the artist maintains full control of the ambiance."

Carlos Suarez De Jesus, Art Critic, 2010

"Le long chemin de Gustavo Duque"

"Le long chemin de Gustavo Duque…, peintre colombien .. expose des toiles qui sont inspirées par un theme unique, celui de l’exil, du depart force. … prendre la route, s’arracher de sa terre et de ses raciness, est une experience douloureuse, que la peinture transfigure avec ses vastes cieux et sa solitude métaphysique”.

Le Figaro, July 26, 2007

"Duque es mirar la abstracción del hombre cuando se mira a sí mismo

“Conceptualmente es el hombre tratando de buscar un sentido a su vida.  La obra de Gustavo Duque refleja las largas horas de meditación en soledad a las que se ha tenido que someter este artista.  Observar la obra de Duque es mirar la abstracción del hombre cuando se mira a sí mismo, analiza su pasado y contempla su futuro.  Los caminos que conducen a un cielo donde la pareja cuenta, donde el amor se refleja y donde la paz se añora.  El cielo, la cruz y ese profundo azul son metas y caminos al mismo tiempo pero cuando nos bajamos de la nube de la imaginación para analizar la técnica, nos damos cuenta que estamos ante un maestro.  Un maestro que utiliza unos aceites pigmentados para plasmar seintimiento y en donde lo que menos importa es cómo lo hizo, sino lo que significa, ….  siempre conservando el equilibrio de algo placentero a los ojos y perdurable en el alma. De nuevo Gustavo Duque sorprende, ya no por su creatividad, sino por la posibilidad de enfilar las velas de su pincel hacia mares que nos embarcan en placenteros viajes astrales del espiritu.  Da gusto ser sorprendido por algo tan grato como son las obras de este maestro colombiano residente en Nueva Orleans.”


Oswaldo Agudelo, Journalist and Art Critic, Miami Mayo, 2005

Paintings that make you feel vulnerable, sad and alone.

“Gustavo Duque's paintings at Galerie Lafitte in the French Quarter will remind you of the works of Giorgio De Chirico, Yves Tanguy, Salvador Dali and every early 20th-century modern artist who made you feel vulnerable, sad and alone. The roads in Colombian-born Duque's paintings wind uncertainly into the distance, going nowhere. The crumbled ruins illustrate the inevitable passage of time. The sky is as hazy as memory and as infinite as death. The shadowy figures that wander the landscape are tiny, anonymous and interchangeable, clinging to one another for comfort as they face the darkness of the ocean at dusk or storm clouds on the horizon. (….) Each of Duque's forlorn images is an existentialist altarpiece. The universe he presents is cold and empty. Whatever comfort there is in the world can be found only inside ourselves.”


Doug MacCash Art critic, Times Picayune February, 2002

Gustavo Duque's works point vehemently, “this way to the refuge-beauty, nature, intimacy"

 “One gets a feeling about the paintings, and the artist, that the surface is controlled and gracious, like the entrance to a grave yard, but if you watch long enough there’ll be something beyond words or imagination. His paintings point vehemently, “this way to the refuge-beauty, nature, intimacy.” Behind the colors lies the warning, the intimation of the bleakness that will engulf those who fail to develop a capacity for passionate commitment to something”

Pamela West, Art Critic, article May, 2000

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