Cheeseburger Deluxe (2016)
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At the beginning of making her edition Cheeseburger Deluxe, Katherine Bernhardt experimented with various colour combinations. During this process of colour proofing, the printer (in this case, the wonderful Michael Taylor at Paupers Press) is typically unconcerned with making technically perfect prints, and concentrates instead on producing rough examples for the artist to evaluate.
Faced with numerous colour options, Bernhardt was less attracted to any single version, and more to the mis-registrations, blurring of colours, ink splash marks, and other unplanned incidents which occurred during the proofing process. They were of such appeal to Bernhardt that she decided to incorporate them into the whole edition. She asked the printer to follow a relatively random choice of colourways, and to allow for the same unplanned mark-making as would occur if he were simply proofing the print. The end result is a series of 100 unique prints. For Bernhardt this way of making a print has a close approximation to her studio practice and her instinct for making images, where chance and the accidental are favoured over the mechanical and the pre-planned.
The objects featured in Katherine Bernhardt’s paintings are as quotidian as it gets: batteries, Doritos, cigarettes, blenders, laptops, coffee makers, burgers, Nikes. The stuff that gets you going and keeps you going. Gregarious and brash, they are at once effortless and carefully balanced, predicated on the classic composition of the grid while working Warhol’s maxim of ‘liking things’ then painting them. An array of objects are first traced out with fast lines of bright spray paints. The shapes created are then loosely filled with various densities of acrylic paint, varying from straight out of the tube to watery washes. Full-bodied and electric, her palette is a harmony of opposites, such as day-glo pink butting up happily against shadowy brown and ochre-orange. None of her shapes – which follow a basic circle, square, triangle or rectangle form – overlap or dominate the other. It’s a non-hierarchical schematic, representative of day-to-day life as found, sold and bought in any typical big town or small town convenience store.
Represented by the influential CANADA Gallery, Katherine Bernhardt is a key player in New York’s contemporary painting scene. She’s collaborated with hip-hop superstar Drake, painted a swimming pool in Miami, created a public mural in LA, and runs her own Moroccan carpet import business. Bernhardt is currently exhibiting at ‘No Man’s Land: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection’ and will be showing new work at MANIFESTA 2016 in Zürich. Bernhardt was born in St Louis, Missouri, in 1975. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.