BIOGRAPHY   1979 - 2007

                         Born:  Memphis, Tennessee  -  1953

                         Education:
                   1979 - 1980  Art Students League, NYC
                   1978 - 1979  Odyssey Studio, Atlanta, Georgia
                   1975 - 1978  Univ. of North Carolina / Greensboro 
 

                        Selected Solo Exhibitions:

                   -Frons / Martin Gallery, Fort Lauderdale, FL.
                        RETROSPECTIVE: 20 YEARS OF PAINTING  1986 -2006

                  
-C.C.A.C, Morehead City, N.C.,  1999
                        Ten Years of Painting: 1989 - 1999

                   -D.F.A. Gallery,  Washington, DC  1998
                        Mining Temples: Structural & Urban Grid Series

                   -Mahler Gallery, Washington, DC, 1995
                        Ron Banks: New works on Canvas and Vellum
                           
                   -Collector Gallery, Little Rock, AR, 1995

                   -Mahler Gallery, Washington, DC, 1994
                        Ron Banks: The Miami Paintings

                   -Govinda Gallery, Washington, DC,
                        Ron Banks: The Structural Series

                   -Adler Arts International @ Aric Frons,New York, NY, 1990

                   -Gennsler and Associates, Washington, DC 1989

                   -Fiell, London, U.K., 1988
                        Ron Banks in London

                  
-Fendrick Gallery, Washington,DC 1988
                        Abstract works on Paper & Canvas

                   -Collector Gallery, Washington, DC, 1987
                   Ron Banks takes on Washington 



                         Selected Group Exhibitions:

                   -Alejandro Salles Gallery, Barcelona, Spain  1999

                   -DFA Gallery, Washington, DC 1997
                        Inaugural Exhibition: five painters

                   -
Mahler Gallery, Washington, DC 1995
                        Ron Banks & Alex DeBoeck: Paper

                   -Mahler Gallery, Washington, DC, 1994
                   -Robert Brown Gallery, Washington, DC, 1992
                   -Anne Jaffe Gallery, Miami, FL, 1991
                   -Gallery SURE,  Tokyo, Japan   1989

                   -Fendrick Gallery, Washington DC 1989
                        Small Format Works by Gallery Artist

                   -Fiell Gallery, London, Eng. 1989
                   -Fendrick Gallery, New York, NY, 1988
                   -Collector Gallery, Washington, DC, 1988

                   -Midtown Gallery, Washington DC 1981
                        Three Artists at Midtown

                   -Carr Mill Gallery, Carrboro, NC 1979
                        Ultimate Chroma: Recent Paintings


                    
                         Museums/Alternative Spaces:


                       
-Corcoran Gallery 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995
                        Corcoran/WPA Exhibition and Auction

                   -Gusman Cultural Center, Miami, FLA. 1991
                        Apotheosis: Symbol & Substance

                   -Center for Contemporary Art, N. Miami, Fla. 1991
                        Collage' Unglued

                   -Danville Museum of Art, Danville, VA, 1987

                        - In Praise of Famous Neighborhoods

                   Candler Park Atlanta GA. 1979

 

                        Selected Collections:

                    
 United States Department of State
                  National Education Association
                  American Federation of Teachers
                  Consumer Life Insurance Co.,  Conn.
                  Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Washington, DC
                  Chase Bank,  NYC
                  Latham and Watkins, Washington, DC
                  O'Melvany and Myers, Washington, DC
                  Kilpatrick and Cody, Arlington, VA
                  E. R. Carpenter Co., Richmond, Va.
                  Peter & Charlotte Fiell, London ENG
                  Carolina Builders Corp., Raleigh, NC
                  Haworth Inc., Washington DC
                  Western Development Corp., Wash., DC
                  Seagram & Sons, Washington, DC
                  Freddie Mac Assoc., Washington, DC
                  Fannie Mae Assoc. Washington, DC
                  Graphic Space, Los Angeles, Calif.
                  Bruce Lindsey, White House; Washington, DC
                  John Podesta,White House; Washington, DC
                  Proctor-Silex Co.,  Richmond, Virginia
                  Phillip Morris Company,  NYC
 

                   Bibliography:

                
 Home-Fort Lauderdale, Lloyd Jackson
                            
"Art Lauderdale" December, 2006


                  New Times, Michael Mills
                      "Art- Cool, Calm, Deflected"  January 19, 2006

                  Carteret News-Times, Clay Riley
                      "The Art Connection: H. Ron Banks" April 9, 1999

                  The Washington Post, Lee Fleming
                      "Abstracts, eggs & Bee's" Nov. 19, 1994

                  The Washington Post, Lee Fleming
                      "Galleries" April 16, 1994 

                  Art in America, Joe Shallan
                      "Reviews of Exhibitions" , January 1995

                  The Washington Post, Janet Wilson
                      "Ron Banks at Govinda" December 19, 1992

                  The Miami Herald,, Helen Kohen
                      "Artist Blend as Well as Their Art, Oct. 6,1991

                  Exhibition  Catalog, LouAnne Colodny/ B. Steinbaum
                      "Collage Unglued" COCA  N. Miami Sept.6, 1991

                  Peter Fiell, Amer. Inst. of Architects Press
                      "Modern Furniture Classics since 1945" 1991

                  New York Press, Mark Rose
                      "Brooklyn Unbound" March 6-12, 1990

                  New York Press, Mark Rose
                 "Warsaw On The East River", Feb.27-March 5 1990

                  The Washington Post, Jo Ann Lewis
                     "Ron Banks At Fendrick", July 9, 1988

                  The Washington Times, Alice Thorson
                       "Galleries" July 14, 1988

                  Dossier Magazine,  Diane M. Landis
                      "The Hungry Eye" 
August,  1987

                  Art in America,   David Toulon
                      "Review of Exhibitions" November, 1988

                  New Art Examiner, Patrick Caldwell, 1987
                       "Exhibitions: Washington, DC"

                  The Register, Will Macdonald
                      "New Artist On Display At Museum", Nov. 17,1986

                  The Spectator Magazine, Rubel Romero April 1985

                  The Spectator Magazine, Rubel Romero
                       "Anatomy Of Fear" May 9, 1983

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                              Throughout his career, Ron Banks has sought to explore the potential for architectural
                       dialogue in a two-dimensional, abstract format. Through the construction of structural
                       grids, Banks creates an under- lying aesthetic that speaks to modern architectural and
                       engineering plans, while  his tactile  surface textures  and rich colors  recall   the  more
                       ancient, though still largely architectural, aesthetic of encaustic and fresco techniques.
                       In effect, Banks  seeks to work  within a cumulative  continuum of world art that can at
                       once   address  Roman wall paintings and  the more  formalistic, modernist concerns of
                       20th century Western contemporary abstract art and architecture.
                                                                                                                                                 GWEN MAHLER, 1997

                                                                                                                          

        Written for ART IN AMERICA magazine

            BANKS/Rousseau  

Ron Banks' paintings immediately convey the feeling of a commingling of historical styles, with an intensely individual approach to modernist abstraction.

A series of works that he exhibited earlier this year in Washington at the Mahler Gallery, grouped together under the title The Miami Paintings', largely date from 1990-91 when the artist took a year away from his studio in New York to live and work in the sun-drenched, pastel environment of South Beach, Miami. The change had proved important, because while there is little characteristically 11Miami" about these paintings--save perhaps their overall cooler, and at times, even bleached palette--the move to Florida allowed the artist to enter into an intellectual dialogue with the primarily tactile and visual aspects of his previous work, as well as into a more self-conscious and selective relation to his acknowledged sources in art history. These sources, which Banks has credited in the past with inspiring the complex formal richness of his art, were here fully integrated into a more thoroughly conceptual premise that was central to each of the six large format (6' x 5 1/4' avg.) mixed media canvases, as well as to the nine smaller works on paper (42" x 35" avg.).

By adopting a more objective stance toward picture construction even a calculated one in the sense of deliberately employing mathematical ratios between parts--Banks creates works that suggest a two dimensional architecture, often imposing a structural grid that literally "builds" the composition (using the artist's own expression). Into these, the language of his somewhat spiritualized and emotionally charged symbolism is imbedded, thereby achieving a unity of form and feeling that is made all the more striking by implicit but unmistakable references to both ancient and modern sources, and by Banks' use of a mysterious invented vocabulary from which he draws his titles. Works like Bosa Nu, Koom Re or Ter Herpere. vividly recall the planar organization and colors of ancient Roman wall paintings, with their clear divisions of areas of black, green, yellow or pale red, and superimposed white panels containing figurative details. The calligraphic flourishes of two large canvases, Ter Qan Meir and T'Gab Ostral bring medieval Arabic manuscripts to mind, or graffiti on the walls of ancient sites that the exotic but unintelligible) titles seem to evoke.

The unusually varied mixed media employed further enhance these effects. Avoiding store-bought paints, Banks uses his own mixtures, at times combining up to a dozen different types of media into one work. This procedure allows him a remarkable atmospheric density when he wants it, or alternatively, an opaque tactile quality. The technique seems to evoke everything from ancient encaustic techniques to tiled box-car sidings.

Banks has been working towards an art that is at once "true," in the sense of pure abstraction, and "cumulative;" that is, with an awareness of its place in the continuum of world art. And, it is probably this deep sense of historical consciousness that lends such weight and clarity of purpose to these paintings. They are articulate works; full of scribbling, notes, mysterious numbers that refer to events in the history of their making, as well as measurements that can only be read close up on a painting that must be viewed from a distance to perceive its construction.

The transmission of a sense of process, of a layering of experience in time, is particularly strong in a work like Wah Talm. giving the viewer a feeling of looking at a flattened blow-up of notes in. the artist's private journal. However, a few small format (11" x 15" approx.) collages also included in this exhibition were perhaps more suggestive in this vein. In two of these Banks juxtaposed bits of found texts with wallpaper scraps and other flotsam from his studio environment, using cut and painted forms to provide a visibly three dimensional) layered armature for them. The others, of more recent date, are actually made with pieces cut from his own earlier (pre-1990) works, as though Banks were literally incorporating his own pictorial history into a new synthesis of pure form and referential expression.

Ron Banks at Mahler: "The Miami Paintings"
April 9 - May 14, 1994

_________________________________________________    

  

THE WASHINGTON POST   

C2 SATURDAY, APRIL 16, 1994                                             

Galleries
_________________________________________

By Lee Fleming
Special to The Washington Post

________________________________________

Ron Banks at Mahler


The problem with Ron Bank's latest work, "The Miami Paintings" at Mahler Gallery, is that their abstract structural elements - squares, circles, rectangles and expressive charcoal lines - seem a poor man's version of "Ocean Park ' the series that defined the late Richard Diebenkorn's career.
The comparison is unfortunate, because these are good paintings, despite the ghosts of Diebenkorn , Mondrian and the modernist architects who haunt these abstract spaces. In these works resembling plans for a visionary, rational city, an impression of mathematical and architectural precision is underscored by numerical notations and formulae. Yet there is also a touch of magic-Bank's titles, "Mara Tull", "Koom Re " etc. sound like cullings from the cabala but in fact are invented, with meaning only to the artist.

Ordered, linear compositions are animated by hues of electric blue, rich gold-ochre and brilliant algae greens. At times, Banks imposes solidly painted bars (one ends in an extravagant scimitar shape) on the picture plane. The vaguely trompe l'oeil effect forces us to consider his airy structures as existing in three rather than two dimensions. While occasionally Bank's canvases suffer from tonal monotony that not even expressive symbols and calligraphy can redeem, the smaller works on paper demonstrate a lively sense of cohesion. Especially in the companion pieces "Bal-Toll" and "Wah-Tal", blocks, arrows, and bisecting arcs create strong, elegant forms that simultaneously imply elements of a flat plan and illusory structural volumes. Trigonometric formulae and written "instructions" champion the interpretation of the image as a design, yet we see them as occupying depth in space. Never setting his foot down firmly on one side or the other, Banks successfully manages the provocative tightrope walk between illusion and materiality.

Ron Banks at Mahler: "The Miami Paintings"
April 9 - May 14, 1994

_________________________________________________ 
 

  
 
The Washington Post

                 Saturday, December 19, 1992
                            by Janet Wilson


  
RON BANKS at GOVINDA

_______________________________________________ 

Washington artist Ron Bank's abstract paintings, on view   at    Govinda  Gallery,   have   an  architectonic quality that indicates a penchant for rational, carefully structured compositions. On the other hand, he can't get  enough  of  gesture  markings,  drips,  stenciled letters  and  inscriptions,  all  of  which  inject  a more personal    element   into   his work.   Playing  off one aesthetic against  it's  opposite, he strives for a state of equilibrium between the two.  His  ten large works, all  in   mixed - media  on  paper,   demonstrate that this  can   be  a risky  business.

Black   forms - long   rectangular   bars   or   quasi- trapezoidal shapes anchor the compositions to their picture planes,    giving them a sense of  stability that the  artist's   subsequent   efforts  manage  to subvert. Using various media ranging from paint to chalk and pencil,  he builds  up the surfaces and   surrounds the black forms with all  sorts of  markings. These areas, with   their  pale  and subdued   colors  and  tangential quality  tend to  be  over-powered by the  stolid black forms.   Many  of the penciled  inscriptions  delve  into matters   geometrical, often  with  some  relevance  to Banks'   approach   to  painting.   In  "Kasop-Po",   the long   inscription  goes  into  detail  about   the golden section,  the  geometrical proportion  considered the law   of   harmony   of   proportions  in  art.     The best painting    in   the     show   is   "Ankhai - Nu",    whose inscription   clearly   articulates    Banks'   search   for harmony  in   his work.  He comes closest to going so  here but for the most   part has yet to achieve that goal despite his technical ability
.

___________________________________________________________
Ron Banks, at Govinda Gallery, 1227 34th St. NW through Dec. 26.


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