A leading figure in the development of Color Field Painting in the late 1950s and an important American abstract painter, Walter Darby Bannard (better known as Darby Bannard) was committed to color-based and expressionist abstraction for over six decades. For the last six months, Berry Campbell Gallery in conjunction with Bannard have been collaborating on an exhibition of his recent paintings. We are pleased to present 19 of Bannard’s recent paintings, some of which of are large scale.
In his most recent and now last paintings, Bannard increased the intensity and juxtoposition of color. The more neutral backgrounds of the past have shifted to all-over color. The surfaces of the paintings are flat and three-dimensional all at once: hot pink and fluorescent green geometric shapes appear to float above and protrude from the flat canvas. These circles reference earlier days, but added now are hard-edge trapezoids. Flat areas of color are spiked by splatters of sparkly gels and raised areas of large sweeping brush-work creating a dance across the surface. Methods and techniques from prior paintings are combined and used in unison in these dynamic compositions. In these last paintings, Bannard painted with an increased vigor creating large-scale paintings up to thirteen feet wide. Throughout his career, Bannard moved between the poles of Expressionism and Color Field Painting, resulting in a body of art that constantly evolved as the artist has forthrightly faced the situations that his art presented, reacting to them with vigor and intuition.