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 Walter Darby Bannard  (1934 - )

About: Walter Darby Bannard


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Lived/Active: New Jersey/New York/Florida/Connecticut      Known for: lyrical abstraction, minimalism, color field painting

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BIOGRAPHY for Walter Bannard
1934 (New Haven, Connecticut)
New Jersey/New York/Florida/Connecticut

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lyrical abstraction, minimalism, color field painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:

Walter Darby Bannard was born on September 23, 1934 in New Haven, Connecticut.  He studied at Phillips Exeter Academy, and Princeton University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1956.  His early influences came from Theodoros Stamos, William Baziotes and Clyfford Still.   His works from the late 1950s until the mid-1960s were executed in hard-edged pastel colors of similar value, with circular and rectangular shapes as their focus.  His color fields were motionless and easy to read, evolving into his attempts to explore not only the optical effects of color but also the significance of surface texture and of composition.

Bannard served as visiting professor  at Princeton University in 1974, Kent State University in 1974, the University of Texas in 1975.  His work is found in galleries, museums, collections across the country.  From 1984 to 1989 he was on the graduate faculty of the School of Visual Arts in New York City.  From 1989 to 1992, he chaired the Art Department of the University of Miami and lived in Coral Gables, Florida.

Sources include:
The Oxford Companion to 20th Century Art, edited by Harold Osborne
Contemporary Artists, edited by Colin Naylor and Genesis P-orridge, St. Martin's Press, New York, New York 10010

Compiled and written by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher of Laguna Woods, California.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A modernist style painter and writer whose primary concern was color relationships, he was a student at Phillips Exeter Academy and then a graduate of Princeton University in 1956. At that time, he began to paint seriously, and his early paintings show the influence of William Baziotes, Theodoros Stamos, and Clyfford Still.

In the early 1960s, he painted hard-edged works with circular and rectangular shapes in close valued pastel colors and forms that seemed to float in color.  However, after 1965 his forms became looser and amorphous.  In the early 1970s, his major interest seemed applying paint thickly to surfaces rather than arranging forms.

His work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum, Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, and Metropolitan Museum in New York City, the Albright-Knox Museum in Buffalo, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

He has been a lecturer at numerous universities and from 1984 to 1989 was on the graduate faculty of the School of Visual Arts in New York City.  From 1989 to 1992, he chaired the Art Department at the University of Miami and lived in Coral Gables.

Biography from Caroline Dunlop Millett Gallery:
Starting with his Princeton friend Frank Stella, Walter Darby Bannard was an initiator of the Minimalist Movement in the 1960's. He was discovered by the legendary Leo Costelli in New York in 1964. At first Bannard was much celebrated both for his Minimalist paintings and his writing's. About 1970 he began to use acrylic medium with colorful gels, groundbreaking work. Regrettably during this period he was at loggerheads with the art world taste makers. His prices cascaded, although virtually all American museums collected his work. In recent years Darby has enjoyed a major comeback in New York and elsewhere.

Bannard has received many awards and is also a prolific writer with over a 100 published essays and reviews. He was a "Co-chair of the International Exhibitions Committee of the National Endowment for the Arts." He curated and wrote the catalogue for the first retrospective exhibition of the paintings of Hans Hofmann at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C.

Currently Bannard is Professor at the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Miami. He still is actively painting and showing his works. (Bannard has had close to 100 solo shows in his time). During his lifetime he has been associated with Lyrical Abstraction, Minimalism, Formalism, Post-painterly Abstraction and Color Field painting.

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