Katherine Bernhardt - ultra-contemporary | FRANK FLUEGEL GALERIE

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  • April 02, 2023

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Katherine Bernhardt, represented by David Zwirner among others, is an American artist. She lives and works today in St. Louis. The enormous interest of collectors from all over the world in her work is due to the fact that she belongs to a growing number of so-called ultra-contemporary artists.

Since 2019, we have a name for the newest segment of the art market: ultra-contemporary or ultra-contemporary. Coined by the editors of Artnet News in their Spring 2019 Intelligence Report, the term refers to artists born between 1975 and the present, and was created in response to the growing number of young artists playing a serious role in the secondary market. Artworks from this segment continually fetch record prices at auction.
What is driving this sector? Galleries' enthusiasm for new, young artists has led to a limited supply of works on the primary market and long waiting lists for collectors that are difficult to manage. In short, auctions are the most accessible option for collectors who have the means. And in turn, we've seen meteoric prices for ultra-contemporary artists' works at auction.

Katherine Bernhardt explores the everyday iconography of contemporary society in bright, expressive paintings of pop culture figures, food and consumer goods. The artist picks up similar patterns or motifs on several canvases; E.T., the Pink Panther, shoes and tropical fruit are frequent refrains. Bernhardt often outlines her roughly drawn shapes and sets them in flat fields of neon color. Her distinctive painting style is a link between graffiti, color fields and action painting. Bernhardt received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York and has exhibited in New York, Tokyo, London, Brussels, Los Angeles, Paris, Stockholm and other cities. Her work is in the collections of the High Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Rubell Museum, the Portland Museum of Art, and the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, among others.

Katherine Bernhardt makes a direct visual connection to Basquiat by applying spray paint directly to the surface of the painting. Bernhardt works on an enormous scale, incorporating bananas and everyday objects such as Windex bottles and toothbrushes into an ironically mischievous allusion to the tradition of still life painting. The most important element is always the Pink Panther. She began painting the Pink Panther after arriving at the Pink Palace Hotel (also called the Royal Hawai'ian Hotel), located on a sandy beach in Waikiki, Oahu, not far from an eighteen-foot bronze sculpture of King Kamehameha I, the greatest Hawai'ian warrior leader. The sculpture is usually adorned with tons of huge lei created from eight species of bright pink orchids.

The pink journey continued after checking into the hotel, which featured pink bath towels, pink sheets, pink eye masks for sleeping, pink rugs, pink beach chairs, pink beach towels, pink stationery, pink sunsets, pink pancakes for breakfast and the Pink Panther on the TV screens. After Bernhardt repeatedly watched videos of the panther - lying on a giant pink bed and while walking the hotel grounds, her son, Khalifa, continued to watch Pink Panther videos from a cell phone - she decided the panther could also look great on large-format canvas and large-format lithographs. Along with Garfield, the Pink Panther is one of the artist's main motifs and appears in many variations in her work. Katherine Bernhardt had a memorable exhibition curated by Roya Sachs at Lever House, New York in 2017, where she presented a series of soft sculptures alongside her paintings and a wild and colorful installation with plants.

In November 2019, Katherine Bernhardt was nominated for the New York Artwalk, a citywide charity event for the homeless.
In July 2021, David Zwirner announced Katherine Bernhard will now be represented worldwide.

Bernhardt is fascinated by how objects can be read as a visual language, much like reading the alphabet. Bernhardt's Windex bottles extend Haring's visual symbolism like his dog and beaming baby.

FRANK FLUEGEL GALERIE with locations in Nuremberg and Kitzbuehel has been focused on high quality originals of pop art, street art and contemporary art for over twenty years.

The art collector will find original artworks, prints and unique pieces by Adam Handler, Alex Katz, David Shrigley, Kenny Scharf, Hunt Slonem, Orit Fuchs, Nathan Paddison, Fanny Brodar, Mel Ramos, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol or Julian Opie at realistic prices. But editions and prints by Harland Miller, Katherine Bernhardt, Tom Wesselmann, Sean Scully, Gerhard Richter, Ross Bleckner, Allen Jones, Thomas Ruff, Mel Bochner, David Gerstein, Peter Doig, Jeff Koons, Tracey Emin, Raqib Shaw, Derrick Adams and Robert Longo are also on sale.
Likewise, other hot street art artists represented in the gallery include Mr. Brainwash (Thierry Guetta), XOOOOX, Punk Me Tender, BAMBI, Fringe Southafrica, Max Mavior and John Crash Matos.

Of course, the gallery also has design objects by Maurizio Cattelan, Paul Smith, Richard Orlinski or Philippe Starck or Pierre Jeanerette for sale.
Exhibitions are held in regular rotation in the centrally located gallery spaces in Nuremberg and Kitzbuehel. In the online store, collectors can buy the artworks around the clock. International fair participations and solo shows complete the program.
Many of the offered artworks can be bought and taken away by the collector immediately, because they are in stock. Due to high demand, prices of some artists can be expected to rise. Works can rise in price (this development in value is quite desirable for the investor) and old prices can lose their validity.

Obere Woerthstrasse 12
90403 Nuremberg

Josef-Pirchl-Str. 6
6370 Kitzbuehel


Frank Fluegel

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