Darby Bannard: A Tribute

 Celebrating the Internationally Acclaimed Master’s Last Paintings

Center for Visual Communication is pleased to celebrate Darby Bannard’s life and his enduring spirit with an exhibition of the bold, color saturated, abstract paintings he made during his last year in the studio. Bannard died after a brief illness two months ago at age 82.  The paintings are at once a reinvention and a synthesis of work and ideas the artist explored through his six decade long career as a painter and thought leader in contemporary art.  Bannard was called one of the six best living artists by Clement Greenberg, the influential New York art critic who ushered in the modern art aesthetic and put Abstract Expressionism on the map.

Bannard was a revered educator and widely published art critic and theorist in addition to being one of the most respected painters of his time.  He, along with his friend Frank Stella, is credited with ushering in the minimalist movement in the late 1950’s.  Later, Bannard’s expansive color saturated paintings of the 1960’s put him in the company of the most important color field artists including Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, Helen Frankenthaler, Jules Olitski and Larry Poons.

Bannard received a prestigious Guggenheim fellowship in 1968 and exhibited widely in prominent museums and galleries for over 50 years.  He was recruited from Princeton by University of Miami in 1989 to reinvigorate its Art program and bring a new focus on painting and art theory to the school.  His articles and art reviews have appeared in over 200 publications and his paintings are in the permanent collections of Boston Museum of Fine Arts, MA, Guggenheim Museum, NY, Museum of Modern Art, NY, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, National Museum of American Art, Washington DC, and Whitney Museum, NY as well as most other major US museums.

The exhibition focuses on Bannard’s new series of works which come from his ongoing reinvention of the painter’s working methods and innovative use of acrylic mediums. The paintings are exuberant, saturated with color and palpable to the touch with a new found geometry that pushes into the third dimension. This new work challenged Bannard to connect his visceral textures and organic forms with the hard edge and rectangular shapes of one of Bannard’s heros – art world icon Ad Rinehardt.  Known for challenging convention and provoking creative responses from his colleagues and the art world, Bannard continued to explore new directions up until his last days in the studio.

Bannard’s prolific work as an innovator, painter, writer and educator has had a considerable impact on the next generation of painters, as he continued teaching and nurturing the painting careers of younger artists who he mentored.

The exhibition, which is has been organized to coincide with Art Basel Miami Beach, will continue on view through February 4, 2017.  The Center for Visual Communication is grateful to the artist’s family for making his archives available to present the exhibition.


Gallery hours: Tuesday – Friday 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday Noon to 6:00 p.m.

 541 NW 27th Street   ·   Miami, Florida  33127   ·   Phone 305-571-1415   ·   www.visual.org