American artist and professor Walter Darby Bannard combined elements of lyrical abstraction, minimalism, and color field painting. He was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1934 and educated at Phillips Exeter Academy and Princeton University, where he befriended fellow artist Frank Stella and art critic Michael Fried.
Early paintings by Bannard generally feature little in the way of figural, or even abstract, suggestion. Often a single band may be painted around a field of color. Part of the important Post-Painterly Abstraction exhibition at Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1964, Bannard received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1968. In the mid-1960s, his paintings began to engage with more elaborate geometric motifs and later gave way to faintly hued, atmospheric compositions textured with paint rollers, paint-soaked rugs, brooms, and squeegees.
Bannard was the chair of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Miami from 1989 to 1992 and continued teaching there until his passing in 2016. He also wrote countless pieces of art criticism and reviews for Artforum, Art in America, and other magazines. Today Bannard's work is part of the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
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