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,
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