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Walter Darby Bannard (born September 23, 1934 in New Haven, CT), also known as Darby Bannard, is an Americanmarker abstract painter.

Bannard attended Phillips Exeter Academymarker and Princeton Universitymarker, where he struck up a friendship and working relationship with Frank Stella, which continued after graduation and eventuated in the extreme minimalism both artists engaged in around 1959 and thereafter. The first paintings from the 1959-1965 period contained few forms, as little as a single band painted around a field of color, and then developed into somewhat more complex geometric forms by the mid-60s. In the late 60s the forms dissolved into pale, atmospheric fields of color applied with rollers and paint-soaked rags. He was associated with Lyrical Abstraction, Minimalism, Formalism , Post-painterly Abstraction and Color Field painting.

He began using the new acrylic mediums in 1970 and his paintings evolved into colorful expanses of richly colored gels and polymers applied with squeegees and commercial floor brooms, which continues to the present.

Bannard was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1968.

Bannard’s first solo show was at the Tibor de Nagy gallery in January, 1965 and he had exhibitions there until 1970. He began showing at the Lawrence Rubin Gallery, and then in 1974 at the Knoedler Contemporary Gallery, where he showed for the next 15 years. He has exhibited in numerous museums and galleries nationally and internationally to the present day.

Bannard has had close to a hundred solo exhibitions, been in several hundred group shows and is represented in the collections of all the major New York museums and many others around the world. He is a prolific writer on art with over a hundred published essays and reviews; Bannard has taught, lectured and participated in panel discussions, and has been a Co-chair of the International Exhibitions Committee of the National Endowment for the Arts. He curated and wrote the catalog for the first comprehensive retrospective exhibition of the paintings of Hans Hofmann, at the Hirshhorn Museummarker in Washington, D.C.

Currently Bannard is Professor and Head of Painting of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Miamimarker.

See also


  • Krauss, R., "Darby Bannard's New Work," Artforum, vol. 4, April 1966, pp. 32-
  • Bourdon, D., "Darby Bannard: The Possibilities of Color," Art International, vol.11, May 1967, pp. 37 - 39
  • "New Look for Old Tradition," Time Magazine, vol. 93, February 7, 1969, pp. 60 - 63
  • Mashek, J., "London Commentary: Bannard at Kasmin," Studio International, vol. 178, November 1969, p. 175
  • ..... "Canvases Brimming with Color," Life Magazine, September 24, 1971, pp.74 - 79
  • Elderfield, J., "Walter Darby Bannard at Kasmin Gallery," Studio International, vol. 184, #949, November 1972, pp. 184 - 186
  • Mashek, P., "His Latest Work," Artforum, Vol. XI, #8, p. 66, March 1973
  • Cone, J. H., catalog essay and interview, "Walter Darby Bannard," Retrospective exhibit, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Carmean, Jr., E. A., "Modernist Art 1960 to 1970," Catalog essay for exhibit "The Great Decade of American Painting," Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas. Also published in Studio Magazine, July/August 1974, Vol. 188, #968
  • Walsh, J., "Walter Darby Bannard's New Pictures," Arts, September 1982, pp. 77 - 79, incl. three color reproductions: Riffle, 1982; Cloud Comb, 1981; Tarquin, 1981
  • Fenton, T., "Walter Darby Bannard," Catalog for the exhibition at the Edmonton Art Gallery, September 2 - October 30, 1983, organized and written by Terry Fenton (incl. numerous reproductions & photos)
  • Fox, M., "Walter Darby Bannard," in catalog of show Definitive Statements - American Art: 1964 - 1966, List Art Center, Brown University, March 1 - 30, 1986, (ill: Seasons #2, 1965, b&w)
  • Wilkin, K., "Walter Darby Bannard" Contemporary Artists, Third Edition 1989, St. James Press, London, (Ill: The Flurry, 1982)
  • Koenig, R., "Walter Darby Bannard: Recent Works, 1987 - 1990," catalog essay for the exhibition at the Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ, February 17 March 31, 1991 (ill. in color: Osa Montana #2, 1987; Formosa, 1988; The Indians, 1990)
  • Humblet, C., "La Nouvelle Abstraction Americaine", a major three-volume survey of American abstract painting published by Skira of Milan, includes a full chapter on Bannard's work, 33 reproductions in color of paintings and a black & white portrait of the artist. (Volume III, Section 13, Pgs. 1480-1513) It was published initially in French and was published by Skira in English as "The New American Abstraction 1950-1970" in 2007
  • Link, J., "Darby Bannard’s Scallop Series: Minimalism Mastered" catalog essay for the exhibition "Darby Bannard: The Scallop Series", Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, Feb. 1-20, 2006

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