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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Kathe Burkhart


Kathe Burkhart is an interdisciplinary artist and writer. Her visual art has been widely exhibited nationally and internationally, including the 1993 Venice Biennale, SMAK Museum (Gent, Belgium), Museum of Modern Art, Weatherspoon Museum, P.S. 1, Neuberger Museum, Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada), FlashArt Museum, Galleria d’ Arte Moderna, Bologna (Italy), and the Groningen and Helmond Museums (Netherlands), among others. In New York City she has had solo exhibitions at Participant Inc., Mitchell Algus Gallery, Schroeder Romero Gallery and Feature Inc., among others. Her work has received much critical attention. It appeared on the cover of Flashart in December 1990, and was the subject of leading article “Bad Girl Made Good”. Burkhart has received grants from Change, Arts International, Art Matters, and the Amsterdam Foundation for Fine Art, Design and Architecture. She is the author of three books of fiction, Between the Lines, Hachette, Litteratures, 2006; Deux Poids, Deux Mesures (The Double Standard) Hachette Litteratures, Paris, 2002 and Participant Press, 2005 and From Under the 8 Ball, (LINE, 1985). She teaches art and feminist theory at New York University, and divides her time between New York and Amsterdam.

Feminist Artist Statement

I utilize an intermedia orientation in my art, working in multiple, extended series that are thematically linked through the tropes of performativity and portraiture, Self and Others. The feminist content drives the form, addressing the interstice of the personal and political using a self-analytic mechanism to employ autobiographical references. The content of my work deals with the visual and verbal articulation of the radical female subject, through the juxtaposition of fiction and nonfiction, text and image, power and powerlessness. Much of the work is photo-based, relying on appropriated photographic source materials that I research and collect. I employ a wide range of media such as painting, drawing, collage, photography video, installation, digital media, fiction, nonfiction, poetry and the occasional sculpture. Writing is combined with performance, painting with text, poetry with installation; video with a conflation between documentary, tableaux, and autobiography. Related issues tie together an oeuvre that utilizes different media, yet maintains a consistent content.

The Liz Taylor Series originated with the phrase ‘Bad Girl’ in contemporary art in a 1990 Flash Art interview. This extended series of large scale, photo-based paintings has been ongoing for 25 years, since 1982. It is a feminist project that is both intersubjective and a social critique. The work blurs portraiture with self-portraiture and public with private; disrupting traditional representational painting through its combination of pop stylization, image and text, autobiographically performative process, and use of collage. Resisting both victimology and essentialist notions of femininity, it deconstructs the language of curses and appropriated media images by exploding female stereotypes, representing a dominant female subjectivity.

The Chocolate and Puzzle Haikus integrate poetry into my visual practice. Chocolate Haikus are giant wall works consisting of haikus I’ve written. Six inch Dutch chocolate letters are utilized to construct large-scale wall poems that are flanked by a velvety carpet of 15 kilos of chocolate sprinkles. Puzzle Haikus are floor works constructed with children’s puzzle mats, a type of educational toy, to form poems that interrogate the violent nature of everyday life.

I have also written critically about art, and published three books of literary fiction and poetry.

<p>Turd: from the Liz Taylor Series (Taming of the Shrew)</p>

Turd: from the Liz Taylor Series (Taming of the Shrew)

Turd: from the Liz Taylor Series (Taming of the Shrew)

Masterpiece: from the Liz Tayor Series (X, Y, & Zee)

Gash:from the Liz Taylor Series (Ash Wednesday)

Numbers and Letters

The texts are haikus written by the artist.

The Torture Paintings

Installation view, Bogarden Chapel, Bruges, Belgium

Scott 1973 (Forced Labor Harness)

destroyed by spotlights in Groninger Museum, Netherlands

Dominant Woman

From the series Hardcore, consisting of photographs of porno shop windows in Amsterdam’s Red Light district


47 S. 5th St.
Brooklyn, 11211



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Text, images, audio, and/or video in the Feminist Art Base are copyrighted by the contributing artists unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.