Walter Darby Bannard

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Walter Darby Bannard
Born(1934-09-23)September 23, 1934
DiedOctober 2, 2016(2016-10-02) (aged 82)
EducationPhillips Exeter Academy, Princeton University
Known forAbstract painting
MovementModernism, Lyrical Abstraction, Minimalism, Formalism (art), Post-painterly Abstraction

Walter Darby Bannard (September 23, 1934 – October 2, 2016) was an American abstract painter.


Bannard was born in New Haven, Connecticut and attended Phillips Exeter Academy (class of 1952)[1] and Princeton University, where he struck up a friendship and working relationship with Frank Stella, who was also interested in minimalist abstraction. He was associated with Modernism, Lyrical Abstraction, Minimalism, Formalism (art), Post-painterly Abstraction and Color Field painting.

Bannard was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1968.

Bannard had close to a hundred solo exhibitions, was included 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 was 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.

Bannard was Professor and Head of Painting of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Miami. Bannard died in Miami, Florida on October 2, 2016 at the age of 82.[2]



Bannard's paintings from 1959 to 1965 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-1960s. The critic Phyllis Tuchman wrote about these works, "These colors are still radiant. And the artist’s pale palette is as uniquely personal today as it was fifty years ago. You can’t even apply a name to his hues."[3]

In the late 1960s the forms dissolved into pale, atmospheric fields of color applied with rollers and paint-soaked rags. 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.[4]


Bannard's numerous essays appeared in Artforum, Art in America, and many other publications, including museum catalogs. He curated and wrote the catalog for the first comprehensive retrospective exhibition of the paintings of Hans Hofmann, at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. Bannard's writings are collected at the Walter Darby Bannard Archive.[5]

Selected solo exhibitions[edit]

  • Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York 1965-1970
  • Kasmin Gallery, London 1965, 1968, 1970, 1972
  • Richard Feigen Gallery, Chicago 1965
  • Nicholas Wilder Gallery, Los Angeles, 1967
  • Bennington College 1969
  • David Mirvish Gallery, Toronto 1969, 1970, 1975, 1978
  • Lawrence Rubin Gallery, New York 1970, 1972, 1973
  • Joseph Helman Gallery, St. Louis 1970
  • Neuendorf Gallery, Cologne, Germany 1971
  • Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, California, 1972
  • Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, CA, 1973
  • Knoedler Contemporary Art, New York 1974-1984
  • Lamont Gallery, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH 1977
  • Greenberg Gallery, St. Louis 1977
  • Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 1979
  • Ulrich Art Museum, Wichita State University 1980
  • Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC 1983
  • Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 1983
  • Salander-O'Reilly Gallery, New York, 1986
  • Brush Art Gallery, St. Lawrence University 1987
  • Richard Love Gallery, Chicago, Illinois 1988
  • Greenberg Wilson Gallery, New York 1989, 1990
  • Knoedler Gallery, London, England, 1991
  • Farah Damji Gallery, New York City, New York, 1993
  • Emerson Dorsch Gallery, Miami Florida, 1996
  • Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 2006
  • Jacobson/Howard Gallery, New York, 2007
  • Walter Darby Bannard: Dragon Water, Berry Campbell Gallery, New York, 2014
  • Walter Darby Bannard: Recent Paintings, Berry Campbell Gallery, New York, 2016
  • Painting After Postmodernism | Belgium - USA, curated by Barbara Rose, and organised by Roberto Polo Gallery in collaboration with the city of Brussels, 2016
  • Walter Darby Bannard: 1959-1962, Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, 2018
  • Walter Darby Bannard: Paintings From 1969 to 1975, Berry Campbell Gallery, New York, 2018

Selected group exhibitions[edit]

  • 1964

"Post Painterly Abstraction" (Los Angeles County Museum, Walker Art Center, and Toronto Art Museum)

  • 1965

"The Responsive Eye" (Museum of Modern Art, N.Y., and tour of U.S. Museums) 1965

Chicago Art Museum

University of Pennsylvania

  • 1966

"American Painters" Smithsonian Institution

Museum of Modern Art Embassies Program

  • 1967

Whitney Museum Annual, New York

"Color, Image and Form," Detroit Institute of Arts

  • 1968

"Art of the Real," Museum of Modern Art and tour of European and American museums

  • 1969

Corcoran Biannual, Washington, D.C.

"The Development of Modernist Painting: Jackson Pollock to the Present," Washington University Gallery of Art, St. Louis

Whitney Museum Annual, N.Y.

"One Tendency of Contemporary Art," Kunstmarkt, Cologne

  • 1970

Venice Biennale, “American Artists”

"Two Generations of Color Painting," University of Pennsylvania

"Color and Field, 1890 - 1970," Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Dayton Art Institute, and Cleveland Museum of Art

"The Form of Color," Toledo Museum of Art

  • 1971

"The Structure of Color," Whitney Museum

Fogg Art Museum

"Six Painters," Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Baltimore Museum of Art, and Milwaukee Art Center

"Toward Color and Field," Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas

  • 1972

Whitney Museum Annual, N.Y.

"Abstract Painting in the '70s," Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

"Painting and Sculpture Today - 1972," Indianapolis Museum of Art

"Masters of the Sixties," Edmonton Art Gallery, Winnipeg Art Gallery

"Acquisitions," Museum of Modern Art, N.Y.

"Bannard, Goodnough, Noland, Olitski, Poons, Stella," Galerie and Edition Merian, Krefeld, Germany

"American Art," Cornell University, 1972

"9 American Painters," Dayton Art Institute, Ohio

  • 1973

"Curator's Choice," New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Morris Museum, Morristown, N.J.

"11 American Artists," Musee D'Art Contemporain, Montreal, Canada

"The Michener Collection, American Paintings of the 20th Century," U. of Texas, Austin

  • 1974

"The Great Decade of American Abstraction: Modernist Art 1960 to 1970," Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas

"Contemporary American Artists," the Cleveland Museum of Art

"Continuing Abstraction in American Art," Whitney Museum

  • 1975

"American Art Since 1945, from the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art," travelling to various U.S. Museums

  • 1976

Gallerie Ulysses, Vienna, Austria, February

"Cronaca," Galleria Civica, Modena, Italy, March

  • 1977

"Private Images: Photographs by Painters," Los Angeles County Museum of Art, January

  • 1978

"Painting and Sculpture Today 1978," Indianapolis Museum of Art, June

"15 Sculptors in Steel Around Bennington 1963 - 1978," Park-McCullough House, Bennington, VT, August - October

  • 1979

"Art in America After World War II" Guggenheim Museum, January - February

Knoedler Galleries

  • 1981

International Communications Agency, Washington, D.C.

Sheldon Memorial Gallery, Kansas City MO,

  • 1982

"Recent Trends in Collecting: 20th Century Painting from the National Museum of Art", National Collection of American Art, Washington DC

  • 1983

"National Midyear Exhibition," Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio,

"Twentieth Century Art from the Metropolitan Museum: Selected Recent Acquisitions," The Queens Museum, Flushing, NY

  • 1984

"Directions in Contemporary American Ceramics," Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

  • 1986

"Definitive Statements - American Art: 1964 - 1966," List Art Center, Brown University

  • 1990

"Free Market," Galerie 1900/2000, Paris, France,

"The Moffett Collection," Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Art, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Fall

  • 1992

"Stars in Florida," Fort Lauderdale Art Museum, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

"Abstractions and Monochromes", Galeria de Poche, Paris, France

  • 1993

"The Denver Art Museum, 1883-1993", Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado

  • 1995

Award of Merit, Hortt 37 Juried Exhibition, Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Art

  • 1996

Award of Merit, Hortt 38 Juried Exhibition, Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art

  • 1997

“Masters of the Masters” Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown. Ohio,

  • 1998

Masters of the Masters” Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio

  • 1999

“The Rowan Collection: Passion and Patronage - Painting in Los Angeles and New York”, Mills College Art Museum, Mills College, Oakland, Cal.

  • 2001

"Clement Greenberg: A Critics Collection", Portland Art Museum, Portland Oregon

  • 2004

"Color field Revisited: Paintings from the Albright Knox Art Gallery". Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University , Milwaukee Wisc

"Minimalist Painting", installation, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Mass., Fall

  • 2005

"Modernism and Abstraction" Palm Springs Desert Museum, Palm Springs, CA:

"Hans Hofmann: The Legacy", The Painting Center, New York

  • 2006

"Meaning and Metaphor", Syracuse University Art Gallery

  • 2007

"Born in the USA" National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia, 2007

"Color as Field", Denver Art Museum, 2007

  • 2008

"Circa 1958: Breaking Ground in American Art", Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

"Color into Light", Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

  • 2009

"Circa 1959: Transitions in the Work of Nine Abstract Painters", Jacobson-Howard Gallery, New York

McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas, "Art Since 1945: In a New Light"

  • 2010

"Darby Bannard and the Miami School", Center for Visual Communication, Miami FL, Oct. 9 2010 - Jan 22, 2011

"Abstract USA '58 - '68", Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Sept 11, 2010 - Feb 20, 2011 (YELLOW ROSE 1959, THE HOURS 1958)

  • 2011

MONO, POLY, CONCRETE, Galerie Konzette, Vienna, Austria, October 23 -November 21, 2011

NATURE AND THE NON-OBJECTIVE REALM, Taubman Museum, Roanoke, Visginia, March 10, 2011 – November 27, 2011

COLOR FIELD REVISED, Loretta Howard Gallery, NYC, June 4 – August 5, 2011

  • 2012

List Visual Arts Center, MIT, Cambridge MA, “Selections from the Collection”

Daum Museum. Sedalia Missouri, “The First Decade”

Loretta Howard Gallery NYC, “January White Sale”

Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, “Art Los Angeles Contemporary”,

  • 2013

"20 Shades of Grey", Zadok Gallery, Miami, Florida, May 11 - July 26, 2013. FIREWALKER 2011, SOCKO 2012

"Paintings and Prints by Contemporary Notables", Watson Macrae Gallery, Sanibel, Florida, Dec 10, 2013 -

Selected public collections[edit]

  • Albright-Knox Art Gallery
  • Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Ohio
  • Baltimore Museum
  • Beaubourg, Paris
  • Blanton Museum of Art, The University at Texas, Austin
  • Boston Museum of Fine Arts
  • Brooklyn Museum
  • Cleveland Museum
  • Dallas Museum of Fine Art
  • Dayton Art Institute
  • Edmonton Art Gallery
  • Fogg Art Museum
  • Guggenheim Museum
  • Honolulu Museum
  • Houston Museum of Fine Arts
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art
  • Kenyon College Art Gallery
  • Larry Aldrich Museum
  • Lowe Art Museum
  • Marion Koogler McNay Art Institute
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas
  • Montclair Art Museum
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • National Gallery of Victoria, Australia
  • National Museum of American Art
  • New Jersey State Museum
  • Newark Museum
  • Oberlin College
  • Portland (Oregon) Art Museum
  • Princeton University
  • Rose Art Museum
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC;
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
  • Storm King Art Center
  • Toledo Museum
  • University of Texas
  • Whitney Museum
  • Williams College Art Museum

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Walter Darby Bannard '52", Exeter Bulletin, New Hampshire: Phillips Exeter Academy, 2009
  2. ^ "Walter Darby Bannard (1934–2016)". Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  3. ^ Tuchman, Phyllis. "Walter Darby Bannard". Artforum. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  4. ^ Grimes, William. "Walter Darby Bannard, Artist of the Color Field Movement, Dies at 82". New York Times. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Walter Darby Bannard Archive". Retrieved 8 October 2016.


  • 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
  • Rose, Barbara et al, "Painting After Postmodernism | Belgium - USA", exhibition catalog published by Lannoo, Tielt (Belgium), 2016, P. 7, pp. 9–20, pp. 21–32.

External links[edit]