Yellow Rose #1 1963 Alkyd on canvas
Walter Darby Bannard (born September 23, 1934 in New Haven, CT), also known as Darby Bannard, is an American abstract painter.
Bannard attended Phillips Exeter Academy and Princeton University, 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 (art), 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. Currently he shows at the Loretta Howard Gallery in New York City and the Center for Visual Communication in Miami, Florida. 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 Museum in Washington, D.C.
Currently Bannard is Professor and Head of Painting of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Miami.