Aphorisms for Artists: 100 Ways Toward Better Art, the book
Post #1917 • May 26, 2022, 3:05 PM • 1 Comment
In the early twenty-teens, I suggested to Walter Darby Bannard that we ought to take his brilliant comments scattered around the blog, gather up the pithy epigrams he had been repeating to art students for twenty years, and publish it all as a book. The working title was The Sayings of Chairman Bannard, Darby having chaired the art department, and the format would recall Mao's Little Red Book.
We compiled a manuscript. Subsequently a whole lot of life intervened, the details of which I won't get into. Then Darby died in 2016. I made a version of the book for the web, and pushed occasionally to get it into print. Those latter efforts were thwarted by logistics or money or both. Finally the stars aligned in 2021. Working with the magnificent team at Letter16 Press, Aphorisms for Artists: 100 Ways Toward Better Art now exists in corporeal form and is available via the Aphorisms for Artists site.
I think it's a great book, but don't take my word for it. Karen Wilkin:
Darby Bannard was a fiercely intelligent, deeply knowledgeable, inventive abstract painter. He was also an influential teacher, and a splendid critic and writer about art, with a wicked wit, capable of summing up and often skewering whole movements with a pointed phrase. While he was intolerant of one-liner art, his condensed critical observations are illuminating and memorable. Reading his aphorisms brings this smart, articulate, gifted artist back to vivid life.
Darby Bannard's Aphorisms for Artists is exactly what one might expect - super-intelligent, pithy, vivid, wise, and taking no prisoners. Anyone lucky enough to have known Darby will recognize his inimitable voice.
From the outrageous, to the benign, to the wonderfully insightful, Walter Darby Bannard's aphorisms are provocations for 100 never-ending - and absolutely essential - arguments about art. Quote one of 'em at an artists' bar, and you're there for the night - buying a few rounds when you lose.
Still more praises from Larry Poons, Frank Stella, and many others grace the site.
I wrote a foreword and afterword, so Franklin Einspruch completists are going to want this in their collection as well.