Katherine Bernhardt's portraits and imaginary landscapes burst with color and chaos.
By ROBIN EISGRAU
Katherine Bernhardt's riotously colorful paintings are a fusion of glamour and chaos. Most of the paintings in this show are depictions of women in almost cartoon abstract primitive interpretations of images from glossy
"Nighttime Thong" (above) looks like an action-painting take on a
page from a Victoria's Secret catalog. The model, clad in lace rendered by
thick paint, stares out under the bold highlights of her hair.
"Bjork," we can assume, is a portrait of the singer wearing a milk-chocolate
pleated skirt with a horse at the waist and a white blouse that fades into
the background. She's there on the canvas, but only so much. This painting
seems to be making a comment on the singer's quirky character, her
"Blonde" is a portrait of a bespectacled woman wearing a
white dress with South American accessories and a wide umbrella of blonde
hair. She resembles Gloria Steinem a bit and has an air of serene authority,
kind of like a feminist ancestor painting.
|Paintings by: Katherine Bernhardt.|
527 West 26th St.
Through Dec. 26, 2001|| |
In a change from the glamour
girls, in the front room is "Starr Scunt Campos," a group of multicolored
arches on a surface of heavy white brushstrokes. Near that is "Psychotic
Episode," a gripping portrait of a young woman's face that seems to be
melting with heavy black eye makeup and a choppy haircut. She clearly is the
face of post-punk anxiety. In the back roon is "Cher," a very abstract
portrait of the singer in which her long dark hair takes up most of the canvas.
Next to that is "When Hell Freezes Over" a very post-apocalyptic rendering
of the McDonald's golden arches against a spray-painted blue sky. This
landscape is barren except for commercialism, the artist seems to be saying.
Two heavy abstracted portraits, "Totally Insane" and "Pacman," are like punk
cartoons rendered with thick flourishes of color. They could be ghosts from
the Mudd Club.
|DECEMBER 12, 2001|
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