New Book: Katherine Bernhardt "Why is a mushroom growing in my shower?"
Pop culture, in itself, is an art form. From behind the curtain of mass production or just plain visual production, there are pieces of art thrown at our eyeballs every day. Think about advertising, cartoons, logos, clothes, books, and things that are designed for us to gaze upon, appreciate, and inevitably, want and desire. Fine art can, at times, hold a similar weight, and when it comes to the ways in which Katherine Bernhardt paints and what she paints, Pop is thrown into a hyperdrive. Controversy arose on the social media channels of Juxtapoz when we posted works from Bernhardt’s I'm Bart Simpson, who the hell are you? exhibition, with readers questioning, if not criticizing, the humor and raw nature of her Simpsons work. But there is a type of genius and comedy to answer back to the repetitive nature of pop-cultural iconography with your own set of repetitive image-making, where the studio becomes a sort of call-and-response to the infectiousness of Pop.
This is why we love the St. Louis-based artist, and her new book, Katherine Bernhardt: Why is a mushroom growing in my shower?, which expands upon her solo show of the same name at David Zwirner in London in 2022. There is obsessiveness to the works, and Suzanne Hudson’s accompanying essay gives a wonderful context as to how Bernhardt paints the places and objects that instigate thought, an almost memory practice of where and how an artist gets an idea in the first place. Maybe it’s looking at a Croc show, or playing Pokémon? For Katherine Bernhardt, those thoughts need to be painted very large and very bright and very briskly and very fun. —Evan Pricco
Why is a mushroom growing in my shower is out via David Zwirner Books now.