Katherine Bernhardt - REFRESH:RELOAD Online Auction Hong Kong Tuesday, May 19, 2020 | Phillips

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    • 2019

    • signed, titled and dated '"FAKE LOVE" 2019 Katherine Bernhardt' on the reverse

    • acrylic and spray paint on canvas

    • 152.4 x 121.9 cm. (60 x 47 7/8 in.)

    • Executed in 2019.

  • Provenance

    Xavier Hufkens, Brussels
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Executed in 2019, Fake Love is a striking example of Missouri-born, Brooklyn-based artist Katherine Bernhardt's electric and playful aesthetic. After bursting onto the contemporary art scene with her thickly-painted portraits of magazine models, she turned her attention to patterns influenced by the juxtapositions found in African textiles and contemporary Dutch wax fabrics, as well as popular culture objects and motifs. One of her most referenced cartoon-character icons is the Pink Panther, who makes a double cameo in Fake Love, rendered in hot, fluorescent magenta and outlined in metallic gold. Teeming with eye-popping energy, the pair of panthers are set against a textured grey background, framed by two neon green speech bubbles that each contain the globally recognisable symbol for a telephone – the logo for the ubiquitous phone messaging app Whatsapp.

    Esteemed art critic Jerry Saltz has dubbed Bernhardt a 'female bad-boy painter', likening her to Jean-Michel Basquiat for her paintings that 'exude obsession, endlessness, and germinating optical power' (Jerry Saltz, ‘Why Have There Been No Great Women Bad-Boy Artists? There Have Been, of Course. But the Art World Has Refused to Recognize Them.’, New York Magazine, 29 September 2015, online). Roberta Smith draws another comparison, complimenting Bernhardt on how she 'paints with great economy and panache, as Andy Warhol might have without silk-screens' (Roberta Smith, 'Katherine Bernhardt: Stupid, Crazy, Ridiculous, Funny Patterns’, The New York Times, 20 February 2014, online). Unique to Bernhardt, however, is her ability to quickly create spray paint compositions with washes of acrylic that are fluid, thoughtful, and above all, unabashedly fun.

  • Artist Biography

    Katherine Bernhardt

    American • 1975

    Katherine Bernhardt, whether in her paintings or make-shift Moroccan rugs, is rapt by neons and geometries. The artist, who works in New York, takes an almost hasty-flick of a brushstroke that lands as a jagged architectural form — figures cut in space and in buzzing colors that leave a mental trace.

    Seemingly each month, multiple galleries, museums or art fairs across the world exhibit Bernhardt's large-scale fantasies and rug-centric installations, as seen in 2017 at Art Basel and with a solo retrospective at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth. "I think the best painters don't intellectualize their own art—they just make stuff," she says; but with sharks circling trash in the water in today's climate, as is depicted in Sharks, Toilet Paper and Plantains, it's not hard to see Bernhardt's deeper meanings. 

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Fake Love

signed, titled and dated '"FAKE LOVE" 2019 Katherine Bernhardt' on the reverse
acrylic and spray paint on canvas
152.4 x 121.9 cm. (60 x 47 7/8 in.)
Executed in 2019.

HK$300,000 - 400,000 

Sold for HK$625,000

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Online Auction 20 - 28 May 2020