Menu

  • Art
  • Lifestyle
  • Fashion
  • Design
  • Sustainability
  • Homepage
  • Whitewall Presents
  • Whitewaller
  • Insiders

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Subscribe to the Magazine

Presents

Basel

Art Basel 2021

Newsletter

Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.

Ok
60 x48 inches
Acrylic and spray paint on canvas
Courtesy of the artist and CANADA LLC
Katherine Bernhardt
Untitled
2016
60 x 48 inches
60 x48 inches
Art

Katherine Bernhardt’s Pattern Paintings at the Modern in Fort Worth

By Katy Donoghue

April 5, 2017

Katherine Bernhardt’s paintings are pleasing to the eye. Her pattern paintings mix images of everyday objects like a Windex bottle and cigarettes, or the Pink Panther with jungle foliage. Her work, which is on view at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth from April 8 to July 9, elicits delight with its vibrancy, Whitewaller spoke with the New York–based artist about the excitement of colors in combination.

WHITEWALLER: Your pattern paintings are influenced by Dutch wax printing on African fabrics. What struck you about them?

Open Gallery

60 x48 inches

KATHERINE BERNHARDT: I’ve always been interested in textiles and Dutch wax printing specifically because of the humorous juxtapositions that are found in them, for example, Obama with toothpaste, or sunglasses with fruit. I like the funny mixes. My pattern paintings are also based off of some graffiti that I saw near Union Square while on a walk one day. The wall was white with different objects on it. The graffiti contained an ice cream cone, a rainbow, a smiley face, a dollar sign, and some other things. I loved seeing those things mixed together there, so I sort of adapted that idea of mixed objects and made it my own.

WW: What are some of the more satisfying objects to paint, given their shape and color, for you lately?

Open Gallery

Acrylic and spray paint on canvas
Courtesy of the artist and CANADA LLC

KB: I like to paint objects that could be found at your corner deli, like bananas and Duracell, or papayas and sunglasses, or Windex and toothpaste. Formally, these are all shapes whether they are rectangle or circular or triangular. They are objects that can be fitted into a pattern on a canvas. They are all fun to paint. Papaya is good because it’s a huge orange-color shape. Duracell is good because it has neat metallic colors in it. I am especially enjoying painting the toothbrush with toothpaste right now. The Aquafresh colors are very fresh and beautiful—cool blue and red.

WW: You’ve said, “I think the best painters don’t intellectualize their own art—they just make stuff.” Do you want a viewer of your work to approach it that way, too—to not intellectualize it and just enjoy the patterns?

Open Gallery

Katherine Bernhardt
Untitled
2016

KB: Yes. I’m not a writer or a philosopher; I’m a painter. I love to paint. And I make stuff. Most of my work is intuitive. People like to put their own spin on it, whether it’s commenting on the environment . . . or consumerism . . . which you can find in it, but it’s also just about the patterns and color. It’s mostly about color and color theory. Colors are exciting. I think that great colors and excellent color combinations are actually just that—great colors and excellent color combinations.

Open Gallery

60 x 48 inches

This article is published in Whitewaller Dallas 2017.

DallasFort WorthKatherine BernhardtPink PantherThe ModernThe Modern Art Museum Fort WorthWhitewallWhitewaller Dallas

Recommended

Art |September 20, 2021

Photo Basel Returns to Volkshaus Basel for 6th Edition

Our ValuesContactAdvertiseTerms
© Whitewall 2020

Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.

Subscribe to the Newsletter