“Painting is the most beautiful of lies.”
- Kees van Dongen
Nathalie Karg is pleased to present Town and Country, a new body of work by New York-based painter Liz Markus. Known for investigating cultural genres with her signature staining technique, Markus now turns her eye onto the 20th Century female icons that have shaped the core of American style.
With her signature drips and washes and an eye for finely calibrated color, Markus thoughtfully renders this elite group of women who, through their innovation and intense ambition, have forever altered the course of American culture. This list includes such luminaries as Babe Paley, Nancy “Slim” Keith, and Aerin Lauder among others. While these women were often casually described as socialites, in reality, they used their position to manage a powerful network of people across the arts, fashion, and beauty industries.
Markus’ paintings are an extension of the tradition of society portraiture that includes Kees van Dongen, Marie Laurencin and more recently, Andy Warhol. While examining this well-worn convention, Markus dances a fine line between reverently rendering these women and distorting them through abstracted paint handling. The resulting portraits radiate a harmonious combination of exemplary beauty and personal psychology, offering a surprisingly empathetic view of these unique women who wielded extreme influence within their worlds of luxury and prestige.