Our next Artist You Need To Know is Marilyn Minter.
Minter is an American artist who works in a variety of media, from painting to photography to video, exhibiting her artwork both in gallery spaces but also employing billboards and sharing her work in the public sphere : Minter is perhaps best known for her erotic and sensual scenes that employ an abstracted photorealism that are suggestive but also elusive, making the viewer a collaborator in defining what we’re seeing.
From the SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) Museum of Art : “Over the course of five decades, artist Marilyn Minter has radically redefined the nature of feminist art. From the painfully candid early black-and-white photographs of her bedridden mother to her mesmerizing and deeply seductive photorealist paintings of late, Minter’s practice is a constant act of rebellion.”
She was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1948 but grew up in Flordia : Minter earned a BFA from the University of Florida in Gainesville (1970) an MFA (with a focus on painting) from Syracuse University two years later.
Minter currently teaches in the MFA department at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
“When I think about my work, I mostly think about the paradox that goes on when you look at these images,” she has said. “How much pleasure glamour gives us but at the same time, how we know we’ll never look like that, and even [models] don’t look like that. There’s this constant distortion that’s happening between all of us—men and women—there’s a sense of failure. But at the same time, all of this pleasure.”
Minter’s exhibition record is impressive in terms of both solo and group exhibitions, around the world, and she has made important forays into public art. Some significant highlights include the following : she was included in the 2006 Whitney Biennial where Minter installed several billboards in Chelsea, New York City in collaboration with Creative Time. Her video Green Pink Caviar was on view in the main lobby of the MoMA from 2010 – 2011: simultaneously it was on digital billboards on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, as well as on the Creative Time MTV billboard in the infamous space of Times Square in New York. Minter was featured in the 2013 exhibition Riotous Baroque that was originated by the Kunsthaus Zürich (Switzerland) and later was shown at the Guggenheim Bilbao in Spain. A retrospective titled Pretty/Dirty opened at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, TX in 2015 : this would tour to the Museum of Contemporary Art (Denver), the Orange Country Museum of Art (California), and the Brooklyn Museum (New York) through 2016.
“This is how I feel about the creative process: if you listen to your inner vision and listen to your own voice, and make art from that place, sooner or later the zeitgeist hits you.”
Minter’s work is in the collections of many museums globally, including the MIT List Center, Cambridge (MA); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (CA); the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MA); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (NY); the Perez Art Museum, Miami (FL); the Tate Modern, London (U.K); the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (NY); and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (NY).
From an excellent conversation with ARTnews : “For decades, Minter has approached her art through a feminist lens. Her methods of working, like those of other feminist artists, including Carolee Schneeman, Betty Tompkins, and Judith Bernstein, have often engendered controversy.
“There is always resistance to sexual imagery if women are the agency,” she says. In Western society, “women are supposed to be the objects of sexual desire and when women own the agency of it or production of it, it becomes a lot of trouble.” Minter and others of her generation used their gender as a way to challenge the meaning and perception of their work.”