Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty explores in detail the myriad image choices Minter has made as a painter and photographer, the evolution of her style and technique, and her mode of production, including her organization of an unusual studio of assistants trained to create hyper-real, sometimes dizzyingly painted surfaces. Pretty/Dirty illustrates Minter’s progress from a curious youth looking critically at the domestic landscape before her to the media-savvy cultural producer whose images simultaneously define and critique our times.
From the beginning of her career, Minter has been embroiled in controversies over the relationship of her art to feminism, fashion, and celebrity. As her own profile as an artist interested in these vexed cultural intersections has grown, her work has risked looking as effortless as a mirror held up to the most supercilious aspects of today’s “bling” lifestyle. Yet Minter’s work is not merely a mirror of our culture, and this exhibition provides, for the first time, a critical evaluation of her practice as an astute interpretation of our deepest impulses, compulsions, and fantasies.
Marilyn Minter – Pretty/Dirty was co-organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and was on view at MCA Denver from September 2015 to January 2016.