The Lever House Art Collection presents CONCRETE JUNGLE JUNGLE LOVE, a site-specific installation by New York based artist Katherine Bernhardt (b. 1975). The explosively colorful exhibition playfully fuses imagery and objects of modern culture with that of the tropics. The commission witnesses Bernhardt's first departure from canvas, pulling motifs out of her paintings and giving audiences a unique three-dimensional experience of her work. A combination of acrylic and spray paint canvases, dyed interactive soft sculptures, and a concrete block plant installation, the show's multi-medium elements serve as a whimsical juxtaposition to the modernist architecture of the space.
Bernhardt explains, "When constructing the show, I envisioned a giant fish bowl tank, with giant Jurassic objects, paintings, and soft sculptures. In this show, gigantism rules. You'll find giant gummy worm sculptures and giant paintings. The gummies could also be seen as giant paint strokes that have fallen out of the paintings. You can play on them or rest on them as well as admire the beauty of gummy worms. The painted walls, colored film windows, and painted concrete blocks, all encapsulate this colorful crazy concrete jungle. Similar to the botanical garden, these works are contained in their own glass bio-dome:
The Lever House. Welcome to the Jurassic terrarium.
Katherine Bernhardt, 2017
The multi-layered show invites viewers to experience Bernhardt's installation as a terrarium - from the exterior, or immerse oneself in her prodigious concrete jungle - from the interior. Her works draw inspiration from symbols of urban living and her travels in Oaxaca, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
Katherine Bernhardt is a Brooklyn based painter active in the New York art scene for over twenty years. A graduate of both The Art Institute of Chicago and The School of Visual Arts in New York, Bernhardt is currently represented by CANADA in New York and Carl Freedman Gallery in London. In the past year, Bernhardt has had exhibitions at CAM in Saint Louis, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and Xavier Hufkens in Brussels. In the coming months, Katherine's work will be exhibited in group exhibitions at Brant Foundation and Hall Art Foundation. Bernhardt was honored at this year's Hirshhorn gala.
Roya Sachs, Curator
All paintings are acrylic and spray paint on canvas
BREAKFAST IN OAXACA 60 x 72 inches
BRUSH YOUR TEETH 60 x 72 inches
GIANT JUNGLE OFFICE 120 x 240 inches
JUNGLE KARTELL 120 x 180 inches
OAXACA 120 x 168 inches
PAPAYAS IN OAXACA 60 x 72 inches
PINK PARROT 72 x 60 inches
PUERTO RICAN GREEN PARROT 72 x 60 inches
WATERMELON + TOOTHBRUSH + AQUAFRESH 60 x 72 inches