Katherine Bernhardt (b. 1975, Clayton, MO) is known for brightly-colored, large-scale paintings that depict everyday objects and characters in formally inventive compositions. She combines imagery from pop culture and contemporary life including: E.T., Garfield, Nike swooshes, Pink Panther, Clorox, toucans, cigarettes, Xanax, Dark Vader, Mickey Mouse, Scotch tape, Coca-Cola bottles, watermelon, avocadoes, coconuts and toilet paper. Bernhardt paints these motifs in an all-over pattern harnessing the straightforward immediacy of aerosol spray combined with fluid, chromatic acrylic that pools and mixes directly on the canvas. She draws no hierarchy between her subject matter which comes from her travels or from visits to the fruit stand or 99-cent store. Her early paintings depicted supermodels from fashion magazines, Swatch watches, and Moroccan carpets. Bernhardt spent over twenty years painting in Brooklyn before relocating to St. Louis, Missouri in 2019.
Bernhardt is represented by Canada, New York and has been the subject of institutional shows at the Museum of Modern Art, Fort Worth, TX; the Contemporary Museum of Art, St. Louis; and Art OMI, Ghent, NY. Recent solo exhibitions include Done with Xanax, Canada, New York (2020), VOODOO MAYO KETCHUP, Carl Freedman Gallery, Margate, UK (2020), MayoKetchup, Embajada, San Juan, PR, (2020); Big in Japan, NANZUKA, Tokya, Japan (2019), Garfield on Scotch Tape, Xavier Hufkens, Brussels, (2019); Green, CANADA, NY (2018); Watermelon World, Mario Testino Museum, Lima, Peru (2018); Concrete Jungle Love, Lever House, New York (2017). Bernhardt’s paintings are included in the collection of the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C; the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, PA; the High Museum, Atlanta, GA; The San Antonio Museum in San Antonio, TX; the Rubell Collection, Miami; the Brant Foundation, Greenwich, CT; and the Hall Art Foundation, Reading, VT. Bernhardt has been the subject of many books including Katherine Bernhardt (2017); Tombouctou 52 Jours (2010), The Magnificent Excess Of Snoop Dogg (2008), among others. She is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and holds an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York.