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Katherine Bernhardt
Sneakers, Computers, Capri Sun, 2014
$
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Katherine Bernhardt

Katherine Bernhardt (American, born 1975) is a contemporary artist who examines the powerful effects of popular culture, childhood, nostalgia and joy in her bright, gestural works. She uses iconic brands, objects and characters, including Nike sneakers, characters from ThePink Panther and ET, cigarettes and Apple computers, to bring to life her childhood in the 80s.

Bernhardt has exhibited her work in recent solo shows at the Mario Testino Museum (MATE), Lima, Peru; the highly visible Lever House commission on Park Avenue; and the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. Several of her paintings are held in influential collections, including the Brandt Foundation, Carnegie Museum, Rubell Collection, and Hirshhorn Museum.

 

GQ recently tried to nail down her elusive aesthetic: “A typical Bernhardt might measure up to 10 feet long, its surface swimming with spray-painted oddities: hammerhead sharks, hamburgers, Windex bottles, cigarettes, watermelons, Garfields, stormtroopers, bananas. ...  The paintings are unabashedly fun and proudly illogical, fast and silly yet executed with thoughtful, painterly chops.”

 

Her fascination with objects can be traced back to growing up with a hoarding-inclined mother. Her messy object–riddled, seemingly senseless still lifes mimic the rooms of her childhood. To this day, Bernhardt returns to this home to draw inspiration from being surrounded by family, friends, and things.

 

Over the course of her career, Bernhardt influences have shifted and changed as she adopts new imagery. After getting out of school and working in Chelsea, Bernhardt exclusively painted gestural works of supermodels: Kate Moss and Gisele with oversized heads and spindly bodies. Shortly thereafter, Bernhardt was consumed with abstract textile patterns — now, the rugs have been thrown to the wayside and replaced by cultural objects of the 80s. Fellow artist Brian Bellot praised her devil-may-care approach in the GQ piece: “What's amazing about her is that she defies so many rules.”

 

Sneakers, Computers, Capri Sun falls squarely into the 80s category, with Nike sneakers, Apple computers, and Capri-Sun pouches scattered on a bright yellow background. The cultural artifacts are rendered in a graffiti style that perfectly capturesBernhardt’s work, at least for the time being.

Recent Sales
Two comparable works by Katherine Bernhardt went for auction in December 2020, both going for over 3x the auction estimate at $67,707 and $96,773, respectively.
Iconic Work
Our drop belongs to Bernhardt’s most iconic body of works: patterns composed of Day-Glo colors and featuring instantly recognizable motifs like the Nike swoosh, the Kool-Aid man, and Macintosh computers. We are dropping the work for $48,000, 29% less than its current appraised value of $61,951.*
Big Backers
Bernhardt is represented by Xavier Hufkens (a top-tier gallery) and her work can be found in major institutions like the Rubell Collection and Hirshhorn Museum. This kind of visibility and support — especially so early in her career — makes her market trajectory seem especially promising.
Numbers Don't Lie
Bernhardt’s auction metrics* show a 117% increase in turnover year-over-year with an 82% sell-through rate, demonstrating strong demand for her work. Similarly, 2 recent sales of works that are significantly smaller than ours fetched higher price tags, demonstrating Bernhardt’s appreciating price per inch.
Growth Game
Female artists have seen a recent spike in auction sales. Since 2008, the market share for women has grown from $230m to $595m since 2008. That rate of growth is faster than the art market as a whole, which increased by 72% over the same period.
Appraised Value
$66,143 (3/2/2021)
Artist
Katherine Bernhardt
Work
"Sneakers, Computers, Capri Sun"
Year
2014
Medium
Acrylic and Spray Paint on Canvas
Size
96" x 120"
Exhibitions
Xavier Hufkens, Canada
Drop Value
$48,000
IPO Share Price
$24.00
Drop Market Report
Our team prepares extensive research and financial analysis for each drop on Otis.
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