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Aphorisms for Artists: 100 Ways Toward Better Art, the book

Post #1917 • May 26, 2022, 3:05 PM • 1 Comment

[Image: I am actually holding this.]

I am actually holding this.

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.

[Image: Check out that ribbon.]

Check out that ribbon.

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.

Michael Fried:

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.

Peter Plagens:

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.

Do check it out.



Douglas Bowker

May 27, 2022, 4:12 PM

Congrats my friend for getting this thing off the ground and flying. Extra cool that you got to do the foreword and afterwords. I ended up printing out a couple of those original aphorisms and posting them around my studio, so for sure this is going to have a place on my bedside table. Extra props my friend for the slyly hilarious statement of " Franklin Einspruch completists are going to want this in their collection as well."



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