Katherine Bernhardt: Why is a mushroom growing in my shower?


Dazzling and playful, Katherine Bernhardt’s newest paintings highlight her fascination with American pop vernacular from Pokemon and the Pink Panther to Crocs and psilocybin mushrooms


ISBN: 9781644231128 Category:

Suzanne Hudson


Dazzling and playful, Katherine Bernhardt’s newest paintings highlight her fascination with American pop vernacular, from Pok√©mon and the Pink Panther to Crocs and psilocybin mushrooms.


“Bernhardt has always been impressive for her ability to combine the immediate, seductive properties of paint with the infectious humor of topical pop culture.” Hyperallergic


Bernhardt’s boundless visual appetite has established her as one of the most exciting painters working today. Thinking about the relationship between art, objects, and commerce, Bernhardt spotlights iconic motifs of cartoons and cultural symbols. Colors and lines bleed and pool together, revealing Bernhardt’s brisk and improvisational process. Monumental in size, subject matter, and vibrancy, Katherine Bernhardt’s works demand attention.

Expanding upon the exhibition at David Zwirner, London, in 2022, this catalogue includes bonus paintings and works on paper—developing her ongoing body of work. With many details of Bernhardt’s paintings, this large publication gives the artist’s work ample space to play. Suzanne Hudson’s essay considers Bernhardt’s work from an art historical perspective and thinks through the relationship between the artist’s work and life.

Additional information

Weight 1638 g
Dimensions 27.9 x 36.9 cm
Publisher name David Zwirner Books
Publication date 14 February 2024
Number of pages 112
Format Hardback
Dimensions 27.9 x 36.9 cm
Weight 1638 g


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Katherine Bernhardt (b. 1975) was born in St. Louis, Missouri and received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1998 and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York, in 2000. In 2018, the solo exhibition Katherine Bernhardt: Watermelon World was on view at the Mario Testino Museum (MATE) in Lima, Peru. The previous year, in 2017, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas presented FOCUS: Katherine Bernhardt. Also in 2017, the artist painted a 60 foot-long mural entitled XXL Superflat Pancake for the St. Louis Contemporary Art Museum. Her work has also been included in significant group exhibitions, such as We Fight to Build a Free World: An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz, Jewish Museum, New York (2020), and NO MAN'S LAND: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection, Rubell Museum, Miami, which traveled to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC (2015-2017).

A Los Angeles-based art historian and critic, Suzanne Hudson is professor of art history and fine arts at the University of Southern California. A longtime contributor to Artforum, she is the author of books including Robert Ryman: Used Paint (2009), Agnes Martin: Night Sea (2017), and Contemporary Painting (2021). Supported by a New Directions Fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, she is pursuing research into the practical applications of art making for Better for the Making: Art, Therapy, Process, a study of the therapeutic origins of process within American modernism.