Post #1065 • October 1, 2007, 7:39 AM • 4 Comments
The Walter Darby Bannard Archive now contains over 90% of his published works. Nine items (out of 133) remain uninstalled because we don't have usable copies of them readily available. One is major, two are notable, and the rest we either plan to include for the sake of completeness or disregard.
Inspired by the publication of Karen Wilkin's review of Bannard's Jacobson Howard show in the October 2007 Art in America, I wrote a program to clean and mark up a batch of remaining articles. Thus I was able to install 36 new pieces over the weekend. This would have been impossible if not for some excellent work by Lucas Blanco, who typed them out over the summer. His effort spared me what promised to be a painful experience: running freeware OCR programs on jaggy scans of old newspaper and magazine clippings. (And then typing them out.)
This would be a good time to thank Chris Rywalt for his superlative copyediting, of which much remains to be done for the archive. If anyone wants to assist, please send corrections by e-mail.
These prescient works announced both the intellectual rigor that marked Bannard's criticism and the idiosyncratic sense of color and structure that have informed his art, up to the present, as a painter associated with the Color Field group. "Darby Bannard: Minimal Paintings 1959-1965" provided evidence that far from showing their age, these intelligent, stripped-down pictures remain some of the freshest, most engaging works to be seen anywhere.
The same is true of his writing. The facts date, but the ideas don't, generated as they are by consummately keen observations and good sense. Compared to Bannard's lucidity, most art writing is complacent and foggy-headed. It was a great honor to be allowed to initiate this project, and it's an enormous pleasure to watch it approach fruition. I want to thank Darby for the opportunity and for his trust in my abilities, which I continue to strive to justify.