The Center for Visual Communication is proud to launch the season with an energized exhibition of paintings that heralds an important new movement in contemporary art. The work is Bold, Vibrant, Hot and infused with color - like Miami itself.
Renowned painter and Guggenheim fellow Darby Bannard is charting the course of a new direction in abstract painting. And Miami is the focal point for this exciting development involving not only Bannard but a new generation of highly skilled and intellectually challenging painters.
Consistent in breaking new ground over his career of five decades, Bannard ignited the major art movements of Minimalism in the late 1950's with Frank Stella and Color Field Painting in the 1960's with Jules Olitski and Kenneth Noland. Bannard and The Miami School form the next big change in direction he has led.
From the time he was lured to Miami from Princeton to take the post of chair of the University of Miami Art and Art History Department twenty years ago Bannard has been mentor and colleague to a string of talented and committed artists that now form the nexus of a new movement in abstract painting.
This new direction celebrates art which is about beauty, reason, logic, esthetic perception, and the joy of human discourse – a revival of themes common in historically significant paintings which have become the foundations of art history. The artists of the group understand that innovation should lead only to excellence and that good art is very hard to do.
The exhibition features Bannard and six younger painters that form the core of this new group, all of whom have worked in Miami with the benefit of Bannard's guidance at varying times over the last two decades. All share an understanding that great art learns from the past to innovate in the present.
The paintings, which are abstract, cover a wide variety of styles and methods. They reflect Bannard’s encouragement that each artist seek their own direction by finding their individual voice and their innovate spirit. The works range from the bright geometry of Andy Gambrell to the poured and puddled color of George Bethea. Sean Smith and Kathleen Staples combine hard edges, brilliant color and and richly modelled acrylic mediums while Kerry Ware's pictures exhibit subtle shifts of color on scrubbed surfaces. David Marsh surprises us with dark tones and ingenious, imaginative combinations of unlikely elements.
The work is infused with the spirit of place – bright, hot and intense with color – just like the city itself. For these artists painting is a source of spiritual nourishment that goes beyond labels, language, gimmicks and glitz. It is a new beginning and it is the real thing - The Miami School.