Born in Rottweil in 1958, Katharina Mayer studied art history in Freiburg im Breisgau from 1982 to 1987. From 1988 to 1992 she studied photography at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf with Prof. Bernd Becher and video with Prof. Nan Hoover.
In 1995 she taught photography at the Kulturforum Neuss. In 1996 she received a teaching assignment for photography at the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf and at the Federal Academy for Cultural Education Wolfenbüttel. In 1998 she co-founded “onomato”, a Düsseldorf artists’ video and sound archive (within the framework of the onomato artists’ association, which was established in conjunction with the onomato publishing house). From 2000 to 2013 she directed the school for artistic photography in Düsseldorf with Birgitta Thaysen.
Since 2012 she has directed the photography course at UE, Berlin.
Since 2016 she has been the First Chair of the Board of Fiftyfifty Düsseldorf.
The artist lives and works in Düsseldorf.