Katherine Bernhardt was born in 1975 in St. Louis, Missouri. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA from the School of Visual Arts.
Bernhardt’s vibrant, thickly painted works of magazine models and banal consumer goods are unabashedly fun and unintimidating. She avoids intellectualizing her work, focusing more on the colors, textures, and geometries of her subjects. Her all-over, patterned technique and the whimsical combinations of subjects such as turtles alongside cigarettes or Duracell batteries alongside toilet paper and cantaloupes have their roots in Dutch wax painting on African fabrics. She and her husband also run an importing business, Magic Flying Carpets, that sells rugs handmade by Berber women at pop-up shops and art fairs and gives the weavers the direct profits.
Bernhardt’s work has been shown at multiple locations, including the Saatchi Gallery (London), Galeria Marlborough (Madrid), Gavin Brown’s enterprise (New York), and White Columns (New York). She lives and works in New York.
Katherine Bernhardt was one of the artists to create a unique project for RxArt’s Arts Education initiative, bringing arts engagement to the pediatric patients at our project sites across the country. Her work is also featured in RxArt Coloring Book: Between the Lines Vol. 6.