new-york

Kathe Burkhart

Greathouse

Print ads for Elizabeth Taylor’s recent autobiography featured a word from the actress. Her toughest role, she said, had been playing the “new” her. By “new” what she actually meant was her legend, the most famous aspect of which she has recently regained with the help of a crash diet and some flattering makeup—this after years of distinctly unlegendary behavior. Alcoholism and obesity may have threatened to demystify her allure, but they also provided a far more complex entertainment than her characters in National Velvet or Cleopatra ever had. Certainly these problems, and the enigmatic subtext that they’ve generated, are of greater fascination than the honesty promoted by this “new” Taylor as compensation for what’s left of her beauty.

Painter Kathe Burkhart sees something of herself in the actress’ ups and downs. Every image in every work in the show—her first solo exhibition in New

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