4/06/2006

Katherine Bernhardt

49 comments:

Painter said...

Go see
Amy Sillman
@Sikkema Jenkins & co. 530 West 22nd St

Gina Magid
@FEATURE INC 530 W 25TH ST NY NY 10001

both open Saturday

rainbowandskull said...

She is one of my faves. This is a particularly good one. It looks great on the page.
Unlike Havard the faces and hands are not so precious. It seems like every painting day is for her is the one that I want. Dancing around the studio, music up, throwing paint around. Maybe that is not her experience but that is how I imagine it.

no-where-man said...

they have a sadness about them i like them when they are more ID then fashion.

oilybrushes said...

i'm not convinced by the hand, i just see shadow puppet negative space. i do however appreciate that the same vigorous/rigorous brush work that is used to describe the hand is then employed throughout the piece using the same level of detail or lack of, for areas that would usually be less significant like fuzzy diffuse hair and garish eye makeup. i enjoy the immediacy of this piece.

kid said...

I sincerely miss her color in this painting. I really like her work though. Again- the browns are lack-luster.

JD said...

I like it when her paint-flinging coincides with an interesting riff on color or variety in mark-making; sometimes it devolves into just paint-flinging, at least IMO. The Canada site has some interesting paintings:

http://www.canadanewyork.com/sitewide/viewer.php?group=/artbin/bernhardt

I also feel like she could also push her angsty fashion girl character further, psychologically. I like the idea of making paintings about a single character, like a protagonist in a novel.

zipthwung said...

I liked the McDonalds painting she had .

It stopped meaning McDOnalds for me, and instead became a hybrid of a childs bird drawing and the apocalypse of negated signifier, releasing imagery from content.

SHe immamentizes the eschaton.

Hmm games. I'm kind of tired of them. Irony. its whats for breakfast.

In then end it feels like forced joi de vivre right? I agree with jd - push the character.

JD said...

Zipthwung, I also liked that McDonalds painting; forgot to mention it.

exu said...

a drunk teenage girl might have done this

dubz said...

I loved the mcdonalds painting, too. also loved the snowman. her work is great, especially in group shows. it has a way of making everything else look so fussy. the fingers/background pattern relationship in this one is really nice.

zipthwung said...

Forced joi de vivre is not a put don BTW

zipthwung said...

Maslow's hierachy of needs say that you should not purchase one of these unless you are at least halfway up the pyramid. Unless you are a nutjob.

wod zar xam said...
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no-where-man said...

fashion, and certain level of enjoyment.

wod zar xam said...

Yes, enjoyment is wraught. Fashion, I suppose, as an extension of that enjoyment is a statement in itself.

operation enduring artist said...

Possibly a comment on beauty. Beauty can be wrought as can enjoyment (and enjoyment of beauty). Speaks to conventions of beautification-makeup (drawing notice to the eyes and mouth), hairstyles (hair makeup? Drawing attention to the face, then once again to the afore mentioned). Also importance (or accent) is placed on the neck, another classic feature of beauty.
There is also a strange sort of androgyny present which complicates things. Does this also summons the question of the gaze?

imageworship said...

max razdow said...

I dunno... I have no problem with faux naive painting styles being so prevelent these days, and I think she is good with the way she handles paint and combines colors, but the narrative content of her work leaves me pretty wanting. Reminds me somewhat of Zak Smith, where the pieces are all about style and really don't "say" much when all is said and done.

What does this peice say?

11:31 AM


Maybe it says "I'm a painting." Doesn't bother me any.

Martin said...

i like brushy brown and yellow.

operation enduring artist said...

the flacid hand is pointing to the deflated beauty...this all told to us through flacid, loose paint.

zipthwung said...

Maybe it says "I dont care about painting" bothers me. Either paint or dont. Either way it wont bother me as much as if you sort of do.

I have no problem with faux naive painting styles being so prevelent these days

I do. Go home.

zipthwung said...

Which is to say I dont thin KB is painting so much as not painting. Go with that.

zipthwung said...

I think this painting should be called "shit or get off the pot".

Am I right?

wod zar xam said...

It can be as tough to paint in a naive manner as it is to paint in a formal one. There are still aesthetic principals at work, no matter what your style is. Is Hundertwasser any less a great painter than, say, Winslow Homer? Obviously, people will have their own subjective opinions, but objectivley speaking there is nothing to say either is "better". Both are masters at their craft. In terms of questions of quality, as much as that is ever measurable in art, naive looking art is hardly at a disadvantage.

A painting is, to me, about the conveyance of ephemeral ideas and feelings to the viewer. As long as that is being done, in my mind the work is a success. Working in a naive style might be the only way to really utilize the illogic possibilities of painting right now, and for that I accept it readily.

closeuup said...

the character: that bitch that worked in that boutique for 10 years. so very cool in a mean mean way

loose and clever painting tho

closeuup said...

In the way it's saying "i dont care about painting" it means i dont care about you. its a tough girl stance, but its funny so its OK. notice how all the faces look like her?

zipthwung said...

oh shes a sharp tounged shrew. But I dont know her, so buy that mcdonalsd painting. Really, she probably thinks im a moron. oooh, youre so smart.

burrito brother said...

I very much liked the last show at Canada. This is a good piece, but not her most interesting. Her portraits of black people were richer with meaning, plus her use of blacks, browns, reds and purples just worked better with the flat acrylic in my opinion.

I think in that show the work really tried to point out how race is 'observed'in art. Her marks kind of 'break up' the stereotypes of how blacks have been percieved in media and art. Those pictures were portraits like this, but with rudimentary props like plants and flowers injected. They were from fashion pics, but also echoed african prints. It's interesting to consider those representations next to the work of black portrait painters like Ofili and Jeff Sonhouse.

I'm not sure if she was going for this, just what I got out of the show...

operation enduring artist said...

im with you wod zar xam, purposeful de-skilling is as difficult (if not more) as skilling...the trick is to hide the knowingness and pull it off as if it was from the hip.

closeuup said...

actually they dont all look like her. this one looks like kate moss. or diana ross with a white face.

lots of fury, which i love

Martin said...

i don't get all the mentions of and comparisons with paintings that are painted in a naive or faux-naive manner. i DO have a problem with (much of) those and don't see her work like that. maybe i need to see more? do you consider say Alice Neel a naive or faux-naive painter?

operation enduring artist said...

they are not naive. they seem off handed, maybe de-skilled. there is a concious effort to only bring the paint to a certain resolution...in service of the content.

operation enduring artist said...

alice neel gives us much more than bernhardt.

closeuup said...

many painters--myself included--reach for the off-handed

why? because it just doesnt matter
it just doesnt matter
it just
doesnt
matter
(meatballs reference for all the so smart)

wod zar xam said...

why? because it just doesnt matter

That's one reason ... but there are things that you can only communicate with (as goble said) off-handedness. A heavy, formal, highly rendered painting often reads (at least to me) as severe, didactic, and inhuman. This severity can harm the viewer's ability to empathize with your work. Depending on what you are trying to do, this can be a bad thing.

Certainly some artists can fly with the severity of formal exactitude. Minter, for example, or perhaps Barbara Krueger. With their slickness, these artists lean on the omnipotent voice of the media to attain some sort of subliminally perceived authority in their social commentary. For others, it is much more appropriate to use a bit, or a lot, of naivety.

I think Bernhardt's style of painting gives us a feeling of trust, we trust the child who is two young to put one over on us. While her compositions and color use are astute, her child like way of handling the paint and rendering objects and body parts does enter the relm of the naive. I used to know a crazy guy in my hometown who wore a sea captain's hat and painted like Bernhardt, only he painted pictures of men copulating with lions.

closeuup said...

thats what i meant wod.

to keep a connection to that child knowledge is extremely difficult for an adult. priviledge of the woman/child?

-no-where-man said...

it is violent painting.

no-where-man said...

how is this like alice neel?

zipthwung said...

"we trust the child who is two young to put one over on us"

SHut the fuck up. SHes about as innocent and childlike as a face hugger (thats from aliens).

Now peel me a grape.

It does matter, because I say it does. Lenni Riefenstahl - now she was an artist.

Vlahos Boyiajees said...

Good point wod zar xam. Bernhardt functions on a more primal personal level that is why her painting is exciting to see. There is definitely no obsession here to make anything harmonious or symmetrically beautiful. This is the opposite case with popular media where 'harmony' is sought out so pervasively as with television shows like "The Swan" where real-life people are physically altered through plastic surgery to attain the media's acceptance of beauty: symmetry and Ancient Greek/Roman God ideals of beauty. Bernhardt taps into asymmetry and society's love/hate relationship with it. Who's "primitive", us or Bernhardt's paintings? I think WE are...

zipthwung said...

Good point vlahos. ANother vlahos - Boris Vlahos, is overly concerned with stereotypical idealistic human forms. I kind of dig them, but at the same time I am repulsed by their oiled carcasses.

In the same way, KB manifests an oily sheen, abstracted as it is. In a way she gets at the soul of the individual - likethat Alice Neel or Edvard Munch, even though they are stylisticly kilometers appart.

closeuup said...

The purpose of the toughness is to protect something. That's what an adult does, protect the vestige of innosence...their passionate connection...even their anger, fury or negativity, if that's their link. Punk.

zipthwung said...

Well Im punk as fuck.

closeuup said...

Too tough to die I know.

closeuup said...

anyway this work creates rapport with some, while putting off others. so it wont let you not take a stand. hmmm. dualistic. at least it's not drawing restraint. i hate restraint.

vomitmouth said...

politically these paintings mean nothing.
artistically these paintings only mean how to paint a really bad good painting.
fashion wise, well fashion beats it, and i dont' even know how you get fashion from them- because it is of a women's face?

so i guess the only discussion left is how the paint is applied- seems like a bore

Martin said...

"how is this like alice neel?"
-no-where-man

sorry, wasn't trying to say that i think this is very much like alice neel, only wondering what people were talking about with calling the work naive and faux-naive.

(but... have you seen neel's portrait of annie sprinkle?)

goble helped to clarify it for me talking about the off-handed. i can see that. i just didn't see any naivete, faux or otherwise.
is it okay to admit confusion and ask questions here?

"alice neel gives us much more than bernhardt" - goble

yes, agreed. but also, that is a comparison of a 30-year-old painter (KB) with one at top-form in her late 60's, 70's and 80's. alice neel did some excellent stuff in her 30's (like the joe gould), but i think most of what we think of when we think of alice neel is what she painted when she was older.

"many painters--myself included--reach for the off-handed" - closeup

some of my favorites.

mr.wakeup said...

Simple and amateur... amateurs paint one single image(i.e.,a head) without context and for its' own sake. I searched more of her work and found nothing concrete... I only wish she creates 'a vision'... that I can join and relish in.

Martin said...

wow... check out this link to a gainsborough portrait full of great loose brushwork.

http://www.chrisashley.net/weblog/archives/week_2006_04_09.html#001342

sort of relates. made me think of this painting.

art computer said...

the wunderkid dana shultz should take a dive into a dumpster and throw a lock on there. katherine is the loose juice paint slinger keeping it raw in nyc 2006