V1 GALLERY PROUDLY PRESENTS
Hot Pop Time Machine
A solo exhibition by Katherine Bernhardt
It is our great pleasure to invite you on a trip back to the future in Katherine Bernhardt's Hot Pop Time Machine. Bernhardt paints her obsessions in a fast and furious expressionistic style. A style that pays tribute to various expressionistic styles, from abstract over neo to German expressionism, but also a style that carries a distinct energy informed by pop, punk and the pace of contemporary New York City.
In Hot Pop Time Machine Bernhardt travels back to explore the pop iconography of the Swatch watch as a timepiece in more than one regard. As she explains:
Remembering wearing 4 or 5 watches on my arm at once in junior high school. Going to Dillards on the weekend with my friends to look at the swatch counter. Ooohhh and ahhhah-ing at the counter. Memorizing the names of the watches. Califati, Pinstripe, Hang Twelve, la Luna di Capri, Pink Betty, Compu-tech, Pink Flamingo, Squiggles, Osiris, Horus and Break-dance. The concept of time. Living. Tick tock, not enough time in the day, rushing, calming down, speeding up, organizing, taking time out of the day, not wasting time, aging, inner time, internal time, personal time, private time. The death of Michael Jackson. Swatch watch is a pop phenomenon. And I Heart swatch.
Another recurring theme in Bernhardt's work is super models and celebrity pop culture. Beyoncé, Rhianna, Kate Moss and Giselle stare at us from large canvases. Removed from their original setting on the front of glossy magazines and without the Photo-shopped perfect skin and bodies, the women appear almost human again. Bernhardt's compelling portraits are fragile and powerful at once, the emperor has no clothes on and only the essence remains. At the same time the portraits also seem to offer a journey into the state of mind and mood of their creator.
A final element in Hot Pop Time Machine is the Moroccan rug paintings. As the Dude from Coen Brothers seminal movie The Big Lebowski would say: "yeah man, that rug really tied the room together". The same goes for Bernhardt's Moroccan rug paintings, they tie together Bernhardt's exhibition and practice. Traditionally Moroccan rugs were woven to portray an event that happened, to tell of dangers, ward of evil or to mimic a landscape. They are full of symbols and symbolism. Katherine Bernhardt's work is woven from a modern fabric and tells tales of contemporary culture.
After receiving her Master of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York in 2000, Katherine Bernhardt, born 1975, has exhibited extensively around the word, including shows at the following venues; Canada Gallery in New York, New York Minute at Macro (Museum of Contemporary Art) in Rome, Suzanne Tarasieve in Paris, Patricia Low in Geneva, Saatchi Collection in London and Team Gallery in New York. Her work has received praise in The Village Voice, New York Times and Interview Magazine. Hot Pop Time Machine is Bernhardt's first solo show with V1 Gallery.