"The realist/abstract distinction in visual art is a useful one, but it is not precise. The most “realistic” photographic representation is abstracted (“taken from”) the thing represented, and the extent of representation is always a matter of degree. Non-representational visual art is new to our civilization and remains controversial. It is less a matter of discarding realism than a condition of change caused by intrinsic demands of modernist innovation. It confirms Walter Pater’s contention that “All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music.” Eventually it will no longer be an issue. I wish it would hurry up and happen."
-Walter Darby Bannard, Aphorisms for Artists
Walter Darby Bannard, Viola Sudan, c. 1970, Alkyd resin on canvas, 99" x 66"
November 8, 2011
Throughout his career Darby Bannard has made original contributions to the field of art. In 1970 he began to use the new acrylic medium, which evolved into his ground-breaking paintings of colorful expanses of richly colored gels applied with squeegees, rakes and brooms. As Bannard often says in his artist statements, “I hope you enjoy the pictures.”
Walter Darby Bannard was born in 1934 in New Haven, Connecticut. Bannard, who earned a B.A. from Princeton University in 1956, was a visiting professor at Princeton University, Kent State University, and The University of Texas, served on the graduate faculty of the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and from 1989 to 1992 chaired the Art Department at UM.
For over 45 years people across the world have enjoyed his pictures starting with his first solo exhibit in NYC in 1965 (he now has some 100). In 1987 Clement Greenberg proclaimed him one of the best five or six living painters. Bannard has received six national awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship. His work is in the collections of all the major New York and US museums and several overseas. He is a prolific writer on art with over 100 published essays and reviews in ARTNews, Art Forum, Art in America and The New York Times.