Kathe Burkhart

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Kathe Burkhart
Martinsburg, West Virginia
Known forThe Liz Taylor Series
Styleinterdisciplinary artist, painter

Kathe Burkhart (born 1958, Martinsburg, West Virginia) is an American interdisciplinary artist, painter, writer and art critic. Described as both a conceptual artist and an installation artist, she uses various media in her work, combining collage, digital media, drawing, fiction, installation, nonfiction, painting, photography video, poetry, and sculpture. The content is feminist; the radical female is the subject. The Liz Taylor painting series, which she began painting in 1982, have been exhibited at the MoMA PS1, the Stedelijk Museum, and the Venice Biennale.[1] Burkhart is also the author of literary fiction and poetry.[2]

The Liz Taylor Series[edit]

Burkhart's The Liz Taylor Series (1982-ongoing) is a self-portrait project in which the artist uses the image of Liz Taylor to explore fantasies and evoke the artists genderqueer identity.[3] Stills of Taylor taken from her films are painted in a cartoonish style with profane text imposed on top. Jane Ursula Harris says Burkhart's work embodies: "ribald humor and [a] feminist-punk attitude."[4] Artist Keith Mayerson has said of Burkhart's series, "Reproduced chronologically, the portraits take on new life as a visual diary, a pictorial narrative in which we witness how women's freedom and spirit have been repressed by male-dominated capitalist culture, with Liz Taylor as our courageous avatar".[5]


Individual Exhibitions[edit]

Selected Group Exhibitions[edit]

  • 1981 National Small Sculpture & Drawing Exhibition, Westwood Center for the Arts, Los Angeles
  • 1987 Head Sex, Feature, Chicago
  • 1990 The Plague Years, Ground Zero, New York Sex and Language, Garnet Press Gallery, Toronto
  • 1991 Original Sin, Hillwood Art Museum, Brookville, New York Painting Culture, fiction/nonfiction, New York
  • 1992 Tattoo Collection, Air de Paris, Nice, France (traveling) Ballots or Bullets, Sally Hawkins Gallery, New York From Media to Metaphor: Art About Aids, Emerson Gallery, Clinton, New York (traveled throughout U.S.) Beyond Loss: Art in the Era of AIDS, Washington Project for the Arts, Washington D.C.
  • 1994 Bad Girls West, UCLA Wight Art Gallery, Los Angeles Medialismo, FlashArt Museum, Trevi, Italy
  • 1995 Fuori Uso, Caravanserai of Contemporary Art, Pescara, Italy Alternatives: 20 Years of Hallwalls 1975-95, Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo, New York
  • 1996 Real Fake, Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York
  • 1997 Irredeemable Skeletons, Shillam and Smith, London The Gaze, Momenta Art, Brooklyn, New York Cul(t) de Sac(re), Art Kitchen, Amsterdam Autoportrait, Exit Art, New York Cool It, Art Kitchen, Amsterdam Red Light District: Images of Desire, Galerie Ijburg, Amsterdam
  • 1998 Frightful Paint, Arti ef Amicitae, Amsterdam Drawing the Conclusion, Anna Kustera Gallery, New York[6]

Readings and Performances[edit]

5 Minute Performance Olympics, High Performance, Los Angeles, 1984; Anti-Club, Lhasa Club, Los Angeles, 1985; Beyond Baroque, Venice, California, 1985; TV Generations Reading, LACE, Los Angeles, 1986; ABC NO RIO, New York, 1986; Feature, Chicago, and Greathouse, New York, 1988; 6 Women: The Word and the Will, The Knitting Factory, New York, 1989; Brand Name Damages, Brooklyn and elsewhere, 1991; Newyorican Poets Cafe, 1992; The Banquet, Thread Waxing Space, New York, 1992; Jail of Gender; A Theatrical Adaptation of the Poetry, Prose, and Visual Art of Kathe Burkhart, Cafe Voltaire and Transient Theatre, Chicago, 1994; Bob Flanagan Memorial Reading, Poetry Project, New York, 1996.[7]


  1. ^ Denson, G. Roger (9 April 2011). "The Liz Taylor Paintings of Kathe Burkhart: Picturing the Trials and Tribulations of a Proto-Feminist". Huffington Post. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  2. ^ "Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Art Base: Kathe Burkhart". Brooklyn Museum. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  3. ^ "In the Studio: Kathe Burkhart - Magazine - Art in America". www.artinamericamagazine.com. Retrieved 2016-03-06.
  4. ^ Ursula Harris, Jane. "Kathe Burkhart in the Studio". Art in America. 104 (3): 128.
  5. ^ Mayerson, Keith (2008). "Kathe Burkhart- The Liz Taylor Series: The First 25 Years (1982-2007)". Modern Painters. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  6. ^ Hillstrom, Laurie Collier; Hillstrom, Kevin (1999-01-01). Contemporary women artists. Detroit: St. James Press. ISBN 1558623728.
  7. ^ Hillstrom, Laurie Collier; Hillstrom, Kevin (1999-01-01). Contemporary women artists. Detroit: St. James Press. ISBN 1558623728.