For more than 30 years, the American artist Kathe Burkhart has been capturing Elizabeth Taylor on canvas, and until 24th February, a selection of the large-scale works she created between 1982 and 2017 will be on display at New York’s Mary Boone Gallery on Fifth Avenue. However, while the paintings created by the pioneering artist appear at first glance to be portraits of Taylor in various screen roles, the works are as much about Burkhart herself as the actress she depicts.
For Burkhart, Elizabeth Taylor serves as an avatar, and the paintings are a vehicle for her to talk about herself as a woman and as an artist. Images of the Hollywood icon are blended with autobiographical elements and political and personal obsessions, creating hard-hitting, complex and powerful works that challenge the viewer.
Using a distinctive color palette, with Taylor's porcelain skin, violet eyes and deep burgundy lips a constant, each painting is punctured with direct, critical phrases or profanities. And letters, wallpaper, printed fabrics, fake fur and eviction notices are among the objects, some from Burkhart’s life, that add another dimension to the works.
Read more about ‘From the Liz Taylor Series’ here.