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Marilyn Minter (born 1948) is an American visual artist who is perhaps best known for her sensual paintings and photographs done in the photorealism style that blur the line between commercial and fine art. Minter currently teaches in the MFA department at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Minter was born in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1948. She was raised in Florida.

In 1970 she attained a BFA from the University of Florida in Gainesville. In 1972 she received an MFA in painting from Syracuse University.

Her photographs and works often include sexuality and erotic imagery. Minter begins her process by staging photo shoots with film. She uses conventional darkroom processes. She does not crop or digitally manipulate her photographs. Her paintings, on the other hand, are made by combining negatives in photoshop to make a whole new image. This new image is then turned into paintings created through the layering of enamel paint on aluminum. Minter and her assistants work directly from this newly created digital image. The last layer is applied with fingertips to create a modeling or softening of the paintbrush lines.

Minter's career began while she was a student at the University of Florida, where she created a series of photographic studies involving her drug-addicted mother with the guidance of Diane Arbus. Minter later moved to New York City in 1976, after earning a master of fine arts degree at Syracuse University, and began collaborating with the German expressionist painter Christof Kohlhofer. Through the 1980s, she explored Pop-derived pictures often incorporating sexuality, setting the tone for many of her works. Although their joint work gained critical acclaim, when their 1984 and 1986 shows at the Gracie Mansion gallery were not commercially successful, Kohlhofer and Minter parted ways. Minter then began to incorporate imagery borrowed from advertising and the porn industry into her art.

In 1989, Minter created a series of works based on images from hardcore pornography, based on her belief that nobody has politically correct fantasies. Her goal was to create sexual imagery for women to enjoy. She reclaimed images from a male-dominated and often abusive industry, asking audiences whether the meaning was changed when the image was used by a woman. In 1990, Minter produced her first video, 100 Food Porn, shot and directed by NY documentary filmmaker Ted Haimes. This video was used as a television advertisement to promote her exhibition at the Simon Watson Gallery in New York. Minter used the gallery's art advertising budget to buy 30 second slots on Late Night with David Letterman in lieu of traditional print advertising, becoming the first artist to advertise an artists' exhibition on late night television. Through the 1990s she refined her works. While still having pornographic undertones, they began to exude a sense of glamour and high-fashion. In 1998, Minter received a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship for Fine Arts.

In 2003, she was in the exhibition 4 Walls, 8 Views at the Arena Gallery founded by Art curator Renee Riccardo in New York, NY. In 2005 Minter had a solo exhibition, titled New Work: Marilyn Minter, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, focused on hyperrealistic close-ups of seemingly glamorous images, including makeup-laden lips, eyes, and toes. The following year Minter was featured in the Whitney Bienniale, and in a partnership with Creative Time, was given ad space on four billboards in Manhattan's Chelsea district. The billboards presented photographs of high heels kicking around in dirty water, and stayed up for a month.

Minter's first retrospective monograph was published in 2007. Her book involved a heavy gloss, multi-colored paper making it feel almost wet, setting the book apart. This same year, she had shows in Sweden, the U.K., Spain, and France. In 2007, Minter also produced a series of photographs of the actress Pamela Anderson, commissioned by the art quarterly Parkett.

In 2008, Minter collaborated with international skate/street wear brand Supreme to produce three limited edition skate decks. In 2009 she produced the video Green Pink Caviar. Lush and sensual, the video depicts a series of tongues, covered in candy, that "paint" across a glass surface. The video was later shown in Times Square in New York City. Excerpts of the video were used as the backdrop for the opening song in Madonna (entertainer)'s Sticky & Sweet Tour. In 2010 the video was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art.

In 2014, Minter published a 500 limited edition book called PLUSH, which is a compilation 70 photographs of female pubic hair. In April 2015 Marilyn Minter opened her first major retrospective at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. This exhibition is made up of paintings from between 1976 and 2013. The exhibit is titled Pretty/Dirty, and includes some of her early work, such as Little Girls #1 and Big Girls from her collection Big Girls/Little Girls. Minter's Pretty/Dirty exhibition is the first time all of these pieces of work can be seen together in one museum. The exhibit was co-curated by Bill Arning and Elissa Auther. This collection travelled around the nation until 2017. This retrospective display of her work incorporated many different developmental stages of her career. Since the beginning of her career Minter published in numerous popular American magazines and networks. She most recently she began creating enamel on metal paintings with a signature silver liquid. Some of Minter's past exhibitions have centered around up close images of flaws, cracked feet, glitter, glam, and all them incorporate a layered look that draws the eyes attention with its depth.

In 2018 Minter collaborated with For Freedoms, an artist-run platform for civic engagement, to create a billboard poster for the 50 State Initiative, a major billboard campaign that aims to encourage political participation and voting. Displayed in Little Rock, Arkansas, Minter's billboard resembles graffiti, with the word “sad!” in red, blue, and purple spray paint. Minter intended for her billboard to criticize Donald Trump, stating, "I couldn’t be political, but I would have been really aggressive if I could...This is as mild as I could get. Taking one of his signature words and trying to re-purpose it into a really sad-looking word."

The 50 State Initiative was deeply personal to Minter. She stated, “I think it’s important for everyone to get involved, not just artists. If you’re not upset, you’re not awake,” she said. “I just can’t tolerate injustice, but who can? I just don’t ignore it, and that’s really it.”


b. 1948 Shreveport, Louisiana
Lives and works in New York

MFA, Painting, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, 1972 
BFA, University of Florida, 1970 

Marilyn Minter, Salon 94 Bowery, New York, NY
Marilyn Minter, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany
Paintings From the 80's, Team Gallery, New York NY

7th Annual Alt Picture Show, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA
Orange Crush, Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH
Green Pink Caviar, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

Regen Projects, Los Angeles, CA
La Conservera, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Ceutí/Murcia, Spain
Chewing Color, Center for Contemporary Art, Cincinnati, OH
Green Pink Caviar, Salon 94 Freemans, New York, NY

Andrehn-Schiptjenko Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden

Salon 94 Gallery, New York, NY
Gavlak, West Palm Beach, FL
Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, CO
Circuit, Lausanne, Switzerland

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
Voges and Partner, Frankfurt, Germany

Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, CO
Andrehn-Schiptjenko Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden

Fredericks Freiser Gallery, New York, NY

Thaddeus Ropac Gallery, Paris, France

Andrehn-Schiptjenko Gallery, Stockholm
XL Xavier La Boulbenne, New York, NY

Galleri Index, Stockholm, Sweden
XL Xavier La Boulbenne, New York, NY

XL Xavier La Boulbenne, New York, NY

Max Protetch Gallery, New York, NY
Tri Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Postmasters Gallery, New York, NY

Max Protetch Gallery, New York, NY
John C. Stoller & Co., Minneapolis, MN

Greenberg Gallery, Saint Louis, MO
Meyers/Bloom Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

Max Protetch Gallery, New York, NY
Simon Watson Gallery, New York, NY

Nicola Jacobs Gallery, London, England

White Columns, New York, NY

Gracie Mansion Gallery, New York, NY (in collaboration with Christoff Kohlhoffer)

Gracie Mansion Gallery, New York, NY (in collaboration with Christoff Kohlhoffer)

Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY

Pretty Is and Pretty Does, SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM
Objects of Value, Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL
The Glamour Project, Lehman Maupin Gallery, New York, NY
The Palace at 4 a.m., Gana Art Gallery, New York, NY
For Your Eyes Only, De Markten, Brussels, Belgium

Darkside, Fotomuseum, Winterthur, Switzerland
Focus: The Figure, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
Agency: Art and Advertising, McDonough Museum of Art, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH
Expenditure, Busan Biennale, Busan, Korea
Whatever's Whatever Hydra School Projects, Hydra, Greece
Sweat, Marilyn Minter + Mika Rottenberg, Galerie Laurent Godin, Paris

Foam of the Daze, Amy Smith Stewart, New York, NY
Sex in the City, Dumbo Art Center, Brooklyn, NY
Sparkle Then Fade, Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA
Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles, France
RocknRoll, Norrköpings Museum, Norrköpings, Sweden
Dangerous Beauty, Curated by Manon Slome, Chelsea Art Museum, New York, NY
Dangerous Beauty, Naples Art Museum, Italy

Whitney Biennial, New York, NY
Nightmares of Summer, Marvelli Gallery, New York, NY
The Other Side, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York, NY
Flaming June, Spanierman Modern, New York, NY

Gorgeous, Hangar Bicocca, Milan, Italy
Paper, Patricia Faure Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Bounds of Love, John Connelly Presents, New York, NY
Tete a Tete, Greenberg van Doren Gallery, New York, NY
The Super Fly Effect, Jersey City Museum, Jersey City, NJ
Suddenly Older, Clifford Gallery, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY

Black & White, Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, New York, NY
AmFaR Portfolio, Regen Projects, Los Angeles, CA
Skin Deep, Union Station, Toronto, Canada (traveling to The Netherlands and Portugal)

Cross Currents at Century's End: Selections from the Neuberger Berman Art Collections, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA
amFaR Portfolio curated by Jack Pierson, Cheim and Read, New York, NY
Jessica Stockholder Show, Gorney Bravin & Lee Gallery, New York, NY
4 Walls, 8 Views, Arena Gallery, New York, NY

Shimmering Substance, curated by Barry Schwabsky and Catsou Roberts, Arnolfini, Bristol, England, and Cornerhouse, Manchester, England
Reactions, Exit Art, New York, NY

Summer Group, Sandroni.Rey, Venice, CA

Uncomfortable Beauty, Group show, Jack Tilton / Anna Kustera, New York, NY
Issue: Group show, curated by Jack Pierson, Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery, Paris, France
anos luz, Galeria Leyendecker, Santa Cruz Tenerife, Canary Islands
Mommy Dearest, Gimpel Fils, London, England
Go Figure, Newhouse Center for Contemporary Arts, New York, NY

Lounge, Exit Art, New York, NY
Millennium Calendar, Bard College, Annandale on Hudson, NY
Paintings Pictures, Beaver College Art Gallery, Beaver, PA

cloth-bound, Laure Genillard Gallery, London, England
PhotoImage, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA (traveling to Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA)
Elbowroom, Third Link, Stockholm, Sweden
Bathroom, curated by Wayne Koestenbaum, Thomas Healy Gallery, New York, NY

Alive & Well, Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, NY
Sex/Industry, curated by John Yau, Stephan Stux Gallery, New York, NY

Thinking Print: Books to Billboard 1980-1995, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Making Pictures: Women and Photography, Nicole Klagsburn Gallery, New York, NY
Mona Hatoum, Lovett/Codagnone, Marilyn Minter, XL Xavier La Boulbenne, New York, NY
PHOTOgraphism (in painting), Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York, NY
What I did on my summer vacation, White Columns, New York, NY
The Most Important Thing in the World: Oasis vs. Blur and Artists Who rock, curated by Bill Arning, The Art Exchange Show, New York, NY

Pittura Immedia: Malerei in der 90er Jahren, curated by Peter Weibel, Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum und Kunstlerhaus, Graz, Austria
Smells Like Vinyl, Roger Merians Gallery, New York, NY
The Joy of Painting, Here Gallery, New York, NY

The Place of Art, Sprengel Museum, Hanover, Germany
De-Pop, curated by Sandra Antelo-Suarez, Cummings Art Center, Connecticut College, New London, CT
Drama, Max Protetch Gallery, New York, NY
The Long Weekend, Trial Balloon, New York, NY
Promotional Copy, 100 Food Porn Video, The Kitchen, New York, NY
Sex, Adam Baumgold Fine Art, New York, NY
The Rag Trade, The Inter Art Center, New York, NY

Promotional Copy, 100 Food Porn Video, DIA Center for the Arts, New York, NY
The Return of the Cadavre Exquis, The Drawing Center, New York, NY (traveling to The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Santa Monica Museum of Fine Art, Santa Monica, CA; Forum for Contemporary Art, St. Louis, MO; American Art Center, Paris, France)
Coming to Power, David Zwirner Gallery, New York, NY
Regarding Masculinity, Arthur Rogers Gallery, New Orleans, LA
Body Count, White Columns, New York, NY
Tri-Sexual, TRI Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Effected Desire, The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA
Slow Art, P.S.I., Long Island City, NY
Works-Concepts-Processes-Situations-Informations, Galerie 1900-2000, Paris, France

Ho Hum All Ye Faithful, John Post Lee Gallery, New York, NY
New generation: New York, Part III, curated by Bob Nickas Carnegie Mellon Art Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA

Stendahl Syndrome: The Cure, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, NY
The Clinic, Simon Watson Gallery, New York, NY
Making Pictures, Fiction/Nonfiction Gallery, New York, NY

Ten Years Anniversary Show, Nicola Jacobs Gallery, London, England
Max Protetch: 20 years, Max Protetch Gallery, New York, NY
Repetition, Hirschl-Adler Modern, New York, NY

Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, 2006
Guggenheim Fellowship, 1998
New York Foundation for the Arts, Visual Arts Grant, 1992
National Endowment for the Arts, Artist's Fellowship Grant, 1989
New York Foundation for the Arts, Artist's Grant, 1988

The Guggenheim Museum, New York
Maison Europeenne de la Photographie, Paris, France
Collection Claudine et Jean-Marc Salomon, château d'Arenthon, Alex, France
Neuberger Berman, New York, NY
Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, NY
Deutsch Bank, New York, NY
Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY
Kunsthaus Museum, Zurich, Switzerland
Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA
MiT List Center, Boston, MA
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Blanton Museum of Fine Arts. Austin, TX

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