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Report from the Front

Art criticism, sometimes with context, occasional politics. New shows: "events;" how to support the online edition: "works."

 

DISTILLED WIT: WISE WORDS FROM BANNARD

Darby Bannard's Big Little Book

 

 

Those of us lucky enough to have known Walter Darby Bannard (1934-2016) will remember that besides being a very fine painter, he was a witty and articulate writer.  The writing by him that I was initially most aware of appeared in art magazines in the '70s and '80s, when he was in the New York area and exhibiting in galleries on the Upper East Side. However, "Aphorisms for Artists: 100 Ways Toward Better Art" belongs to a later period in Bannard's life – the decades when he was in Florida, and teaching (or having taught) art at the University of Miami (toward the latter part of this period, his paintings were being rediscovered in Chelsea). Read More 

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DARBY BANNARD'S ANNUS MIRABILIS: "SEE FIRST, NAME LATER" AT BERRY-CAMPBELL

Walter Darby Bannard (1934 - 2016), "Glass Mountain Fireball," 1975. Alkyd resin on canvas, 49 5/8 x 35 3/4 in. (126 x 90.8 cm), © Estate of Walter Darby Bannard. Courtesy Berry Campbell, New York

Here I am, back in the land of the living. Still not sure whether or not I'll be able to maintain my previous pace, but meanwhile here's a review of the current & frankly beautiful show at Berry Campbell – which is "Walter Darby Bannard: See First, Name Later: Paintings 1972-1976" (through July 1).

 

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A NOTE TO MY READERS -- & COMMENTS FROM MY READERS.

 

I am sorry to report that I have been suffering from some sort of a stomach bug for the past week or so.  It may even have contributed to the bleakness of my report on "The Medici" last week.  As I think it unfair to continue to take out my negative emotions on helpless pictures and sculpture, I have decided to foreswear reporting on the art scene for the next few weeks – or until I have this bug of mine firmly in the rear-view mirror. Think of it as the summer vacation I never got around to taking.

 

I do have a small amount of reading matter to offer – written not by me, but by several of my readers.

 

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WALTON FORD, WALTER DARBY BANNARD

Walter Darby Bannard, Peru, 1971. Alkyd resin on canvas, 51 x 55 inches. Courtesy Berry Campbell.
This time, my destination in Chelsea was “Walter Darby Bannard: Paintings from 1969-1975” at Berry Campbell (through December 21), but on the way I stopped in to see “Walton Ford: Barbary” at the handsome new “flagship” gallery of Paul Kasmin at 509 West 27th Street (through December 22). Read More 
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AN AFTERNOON IN CHELSEA

Judith Godwin, Betrayal, 1976. Oil on canvas, 50 x 48 inches. Courtesy Berry Campbell.
On a recent trip to Chelsea, I found one big show & two lesser shows that I’d recommend, in whole or at least in part. The lesser shows with some work I liked were “Etel Adnan, Ione Saldanha & Carolee Schneemann: Of the Self and of the Other,” at Galerie Lelong & Co, (closed August 3), and the “Summer Group Show” at Sundaram Tagore (through September 1). The big show where I liked practically everything I saw was "Summer Selections," at Berry Campbell (through August 17).  Read More 
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WALTER DARBY BANNARD (1934-2016): HE TOUCHED A LOT OF LIVES

Walter Darby Bannard, The Windwards (13-1B), 2013. Acrylic on canvas, 49 1/2 x 54 inches. Courtesy Berry Campbell
When word broke on Facebook on October 2 that Walter Darby Bannard had died, I received more than the ordinary number of worried or consolatory emails. This was proof, if I needed any, that he was widely known and loved, not only for his fine painting but also for his teaching, for his role as dauntless defender of modernism in print, and for simply being a very nice guy.  Read More 
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SOCIAL (& ESTHETIC) NOTES FROM ALL OVER

Gerald Jackson, A Blue and Green Painting, 2015. Acrylic and pastel on canvas, 30 by 24 each. Photo courtesy of Kim Uchiyama.
This has been a more than ordinarily social autumn season for me. True, two of the six occasions that I’ll be covering in this post were tinged with melancholy, but all were reminders that art – and life itself – go on.

First, on October 13, I attended the opening of “Walter Darby Bannard: Recent Paintings”  Read More 
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SUMMERTIME IN CHELSEA

Walter Darby Bannard, Green Grip #2, 1964-1965. Acrylic on canvas, 66 3/4 x 63 inches. Courtesy Berry Campbell.
Ameringer McEnery Yohe has a small show of 30s and early 40s Hans Hofmann in its back gallery, and a large show of recent work by Bo Bartlett, a 60-year-old allegorical realist, in its front two galleries (both shows through August 12). Berry Campbell is devoting its entire exhibition space to “Summer Selections” (through July 22). All three exhibitions are not without interest—but if I am rushing into print with this review (only a day after my last post), it’s primarily to tell my readers about the Berry Campbell show before it closes. Read More 
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THE ART FAIRS OF (MOSTLY) EARLY MARCH, AND DARBY BANNARD'S BRILLIANT INSIGHT

Willem de Kooning. Untitled (Still Life with Eggs and Potato Masher), 1928-1929. Oil and sand on canvas, 18 x 24 inches. (c) Estate of Willem de Kooning, Courtesy of Forum Gallery, New York.
Following CAA, the next avalanche of art-world “news” to descend onto Manhattan was the art fairs that took place between March 4 & 8. The two original and most conspicuous were The Armory Show, on Piers 92 & 94 in the Hudson River, and The Art Show, at the Park Avenue Armory, but there were about ten others.

Together, these dozen offered more than 700 booths—of dealers from all over the world, plus  Read More 
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HAPPY MARRIAGE: BANNARD AT BERRY CAMPBELL

Walter Darby Bannard, Yellow Rose #1, 1963. Alkyd Resin on canvas, 66 3/4 x 62 3/4 inches. Courtesy Berry Campbell Gallery.
I have two problems with the semantics surrounding the exhibition I am about to review. I have no problems whatsoever with the exhibition itself, which is a model marriage between modernism and minimalism, a true beauty.

The show I allude to, of course, is “Walter Darby Bannard: Minimal Color Field Paintings 1958-1965,” at Berry Campbell (through April 18). Read More 
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