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Biography

Kathe Burkhart

Kathe Burkhart

“It is no exaggeration to say that wherever the current generation of young female painters may be headed, chances are Ms. Burkhart has already been there.” -- Holland Cotter, The New York Times

“The bulk of the works feature Liz Taylor, who serves as both a post-feminist icon and the artist's alter ego. Rather than the typical vision of a progressive feminist, Burkhart offers Taylor—she of the multiple marriages, plastic surgeries, and religions—as her own model of the modern woman: a gorgeous, fucked-up, diva mess… In the same way that Joan Crawford and Judy Garland—talented women scarred by lives of baroque excess—serve as gay icons, Liz, Burkhart suggests, might serve as an alternative beacon for women who don't relate to mainstream models of feminism, from the white middle-class edicts of Gloria Steinem or Catherine McKinnon to the New Agey go-girl televangelism of Oprah.”-- Martha Schwendener, Artforum


Kathe Burkhart (American, born 1958) is an interdisciplinary artist and writer. Working since the early ’80s, Burkhart has consistently and candidly engaged gender roles, sexuality, celebrity, and language to, in her words, “articulate a radical female subject.” Ongoing from 1982, her Liz Taylor Series of large-scale, richly saturated paintings combines appropriated portraits of actress Elizabeth Taylor with profane language, shattering both female stereotypes and conventions of representation. Ms. Burkhart has been widely exhibited nationally and internationally, including The Whitney Museum, Venice Biennale, PS1 Contemporary Art Center/MoMA, Kunsthalle Fribourg, the New Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Weatherspoon Museum, Neuberger Museum, Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada) SMAK Museum, (Gent, Belgium) Flash Art Museum, Galleria d' Arte Moderna, Bologna (Italy) and the Groningen, Zwolle and Helmond Museums (Netherlands) among many others. She has had 44 solo exhibitions, among them Participant Inc., Mary Boone Gallery, Mitchell Algus Gallery, and Feature Inc., NYÇ. Her works are included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, among others.