The medium of silkscreen is amazingly versatile, its most noted use being for posters, advertising, and tee-shirt designs. The medium can reproduce images on hard or soft surfaces. The basic technique involves a piece of finely meshed material such as silk, organdy, or polyester upon which a design is made in an impermeable medium such as glue, gesso, or a paper stencil. The material is stretched onto a frame over a piece of paper (or any other surface that can hold an ink design). Inks are forced through the material with a squeegee not covered by the impermeable material. Like relief prints, a different screen must be used for each color.
Bannard began painting seriously in the late 1950s, influenced by the color field paintings of Clyfford Still (1904–1980) and the paintings of William Baziotes (1912–1963) who had explored the idea of automatic painting (painting by subconscious impulse rather than a plan or sketch).
In the 1970s he formed his mature style of pure manipulation of color. In this print, Bannard used fish line to maintain the grid that divides the work into nine sections. In spirit, it displays the random splatters of the gestural Abstract Expressionists while conforming to the love of unemotional (lack of gesture) fields of color that characterizes the color field artists.
This painting is a good example of the Principles of Design. Show your students this work, and ask them which those might be: a) unity and variety; b) movement and rhythm; c) pattern; d) balance (asymmetrical or symmetrical); and e) emphasis.
Correlations with Davis programs: Explorations in Art Grade 4: 6.35; Explorations in Art Grade 5: 6.33; A Community Connection: 8.1, 8.2; A Global Pursuit: 4.2, 7.2; The Visual Experience: 4.4, 16.7; Discovering Art History: 3.3, 17.1, 17.3, 17.6