Katherine Bernhardt

01 Feb - 09 Mar 2014

© Katherine Bernhardt
Watermelon and Telephones, 2013
Acrylic on canvas
Stupid, Crazy, Ridiculous, Funny Patterns
1 February - 9 March 2014

CANADA is pleased to present “Stupid, Crazy, Funny, Ridiculous Patterns” the newest round of paintings from Katherine Bernhardt. The paintings are a painterly jumble of the following items on colorfully activated grounds: watermelon slices, boom boxes, computers (both lap and desktop models), pizza slices, cassette tapes, hamburgers, basketballs, old cell phones, tagine cooking pots on fiery grills, airplanes and Capri-sun drink pouches. Ms. Bernhardt presents a slightly delirious feeling of New York City, old school anything, the out of date and the up to the minute all in one.
The new paintings are a departure and an expansion for Ms. Bernhardt. The subject matter here is not lifted from any source material and the net result is some of the best work of Ms. Bernhardt’s career. Well known for paintings of super models ripped from glossy fashion magazines and more recently rug motifs from Morocco, Ms. Bernhardt has dropped all direct quotation and paints directly from her imagination, mining her own fertile reservoir of experience, imagery and sensation. The collection of items, at times congruently combined or more often sweetly joined can be read as a portrait of the painter, a pop-art memento mori.
The whole operation is by seat of her pants, barreling through her own unique trajectory inside of contemporary painting. Boldly colorful and willfully spontaneous, Ms. Bernhardt makes it all look easy. Like the way she draws a taco, for example, which is actually the same as a slice of watermelon... just tipped upside down and filled in with different colors. This is the logic of Ms. Bernhardt: pragmatic, fun, inventive and economical.
Looking at one of Ms. Bernhardt’s paintings can be funny, stupid or crazy as her point-blank show title suggests, but it can also be thought-provoking, challenging and a little scary; but it is important to remember that the fear is ours not hers. These are physic downloads from her daily life and ruminations on her adolescent years, powerful feelings and totems that have formed the signposts for the artist Ms. Bernhardt has become.

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