The Walter Darby Bannard Archive

Walter Darby Bannard: "The Barcelona Run Series" (1989)

Catalog statement for solo exhibition at Rider College, Lawrenceville, NJ, October 20 - November 20, 1989.

"Barcelona Run" is a phrase used by a friend to describe the paintings I have done since I took part in the Triangle Workshop in Barcelona in May, 1987.

Some of my materials and tools did not arrive at the workshop and were unavailable in Spain, so I reluctantly began fooling around with some ochres and grays against light canvas, using a nylon push broom and a floor squeegee which were at hand, making paintings which looked like giant dry-brush drawings. There were like my previous paintings but much looser and less finished-looking.

At first I thought of these as sketches or underpainting, done in lieu of the "real" paintings I would do when my materials arrived. Then a number of people at the workshop whose taste I admired cautioned me that these "sketches" looked good as finished paintings. I went with that idea (the materials never got there anyway) and found that new worlds of complexity soon sprang from this simplified method. As the saying goes: If you want to change your art, change your studio.

Most surprising was the illusion of a third dimension which came out unexpectedly from what had been a very flat-looking surface. I've worked on this illusionism with some delight and have even based some compositions on some old master paintings I admire, and on photos of Greek and Roman ruins, and the like. It's fun, and I hope that shows.