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For over three decades Marilyn Minter has produced lush paintings, photographs, and videos that vividly manifest our culture’s complex and contradictory emotions around the feminine body and beauty.Her unique works—from the oversized paintings of makeup-laden lips and eyes to soiled designer shoes—bring into sharp, critical focus the power of desire.As an artist Minter has always made seductive visual statements that demand our attention while never shirking her equally crucial roles as provocateur, critic, and humorist.

The exhibition was co-organized by the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.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 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..Here Minter focuses on how girls are trained at an early age to look critically at their bodies, only to see themselves as flawed.

Also on view from this series is (1986), which combines the little girl gazing at her reflection with an appropriated image of Sophia Loren anxiously peering at Jayne Mansfield’s voluptuous figure spilling out of her dress.

“These works, like the others from this period, fused a feminist critique of the construction of gender and femininity with other postmodernist hallmarks of the , co-curator of the exhibition.

While still in school, the young Minter shot one roll of film of her mother, a drug-addled, darkly glamorous woman who was nonetheless “mom” for the artist.

Completed in 1969 when Minter was 21, the works were not shown until decades later by Linda , a lifelong friend of Minter’s who used them as background images for a reading program.

The series’ clear relationship to the artist’s later themes of degraded beauty has made these photographs into classics of the Diane .

Minter employed a mechanically applied enamel technique to portray a young girl looking at her distorted reflection in a funhouse mirror.