New York

Walter Darby Bannard

Knoedler & Company

What happens when the literal order of effects is separated from the unconscious and preconscious order of effects, and given primacy? Walter Darby Bannard’s kind of bankrupt, completely inauthentic art is what happens. With the abandonment of the psychological, a too-easy, abstract “individuality” emerges. One plane of glutinous, meretricious color splashes premeditatively over a thinner, slicker plane. This used to be called finessing flatness; it is more aptly called trivializing technique. Technique may be all, but it must be sufficiently complex to communicate the inner dialectic of art. The shells on the beach of this oil-slick sea whisper “Clement Greenberg-ism has dead-ended”—not quite the same as the cry “Pan is dead,” but also shaking an ancient world, the world of abstraction. This exhibition shows the power of institutions to create value where there is none.

Donald Kuspit