Behind the Poster: David Bowie 1976 Isolar Tour
“The European canon is here”
When David Bowie re-emerged forty-five years ago in support of one of his most significant works, Station to Station, it was as the performance persona the Thin White Duke, an icy, Mittel-European persona reflecting Bowie’s dark side. The Thin White Duke dressed in black pants and vest and a white shirt, a far, far cry from his costumes in the glitter days.
The ISOLAR World Tour commenced at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, Canada on February 2, 1976 and continued through North America and Europe, concluding at the Pavillon de Paris in Paris, France, on May 18, 1976. The performances began with a projected sequence of surrealist images, depicting a razor blade cutting into an eyeball, from the 1928 film Un Chien Andalou, by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí.
The staging was monochrome and stark. The visual element of the performances incorporated banks of fluorescent white light set against black backdrops creating a stark spectacle on a stage largely devoid of props or other visual distractions. Bowie dressed in white shirt with black trousers and waistcoat stood in front of the dazzling wall of vertical white strip lights, without a speck of color blazed across the stage. Eight follow spots were augmented by light from below, the sides of the stage and a complete lighting grid covering the stage.
“Bowie has long claimed to be an actor playing out a role as a rock star. Film is the medium of expression with which he has become enamored, and his spartan set, lit with dozens of white spotlights, strengthened the image.
He was slightly tense, but the effect as he sang “the return of the thin white duke/throwing darts in lover’s eyes” was stunning.
The proclamatory verse from Station To Station segued into Suffragette City with a burst of brilliant light, and Bowie smiled like a shy child on the beach at Sybaris.
Carnations and roses were tossed from the audience as he sang Waiting For The Man and then moved on to the strange spiritual call of Word On A Wing.” - Nick Collier, Vancouver Sun
In honor of the 45th anniversary of Station to Station and the ISOLAR tour, we're so pleased to announce our first official David Bowie limited edition screenprints by Sara Deck!
"The Thin White Duke is a striking character for a myriad of reasons. His crisp contrast visually and tonally set the stage for the juxtaposition of an ice cold persona crooning songs of romance. It captures forever a moment in time where David Bowie transitioned through a darker period in his life into an explosive new creative phase. My poster illustrates the radiating intensity of the Duke and the inspired outburst that culminated in one of the greatest albums of all time." - Sara Deck