Katherine Bernhardt’s loose, bold paintings revel in the visceral potential of putting paint to canvas. Her early portraits of fashion models pulled from magazines are frightening renditions of stylized perfection—melting smiles, sunken eyes, and puke-green hair illustrate individuals that seem at once savage and emaciated. Bernhardt’s depiction of everyday items are drawn from memory, created using acrylic and spray paint such objects include Doritos, socks, watermelon, and basketballs, among others. These images are economical and pragmatic—the same shape may represent two different objects, only transformed by their color. Her use of wet paint creates internal depth in these flat objects, with prominent outlines and deliberate, wide brushstrokes providing a sense of volume. Regardless of the subject, Bernhardt’s gestural style creates portraits of the world around her with all it’s deception, imperfection, and fluidity.
Bernhardt has exhibited at Portland Institute for Contemporary Arts, Oregon, Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita, Kansas, Ukranian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut, Future Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome, and the Baltimore Contemporary Museum, Maryland, among many other international galleries.
Read Katherine Bernhardt's interview with Artspace here.