Hard-Core: Marilyn Minter




In the early ’90s, Marilyn Minter was emerging on the New York scene when she suddenly found herself ostracized for a group of paintings based on photos from hard-core pornographic magazines. Sexual activity, especially fellatio, is the subject of an explicit series from 1989 called “Porn Grids,” which offended viewers and incited brutal critical reviews—the New York Times wrote that her “anatomical displays not suitable for discussion in a family newspaper” made poor comparison to the “sexy” images of Rauschenberg and Rosenquist. Though porn was a short-lived source for her, she’s maintained threads of provocation and sensuality in all phases of her career. Strong similarities tie her early work to more recent images of plump, moist lips and curled tongues fondling jewelry or food.

Minter made a major comeback when three of her paintings were included in the 2006 Whitney Biennial. Recently her friend, dealer José Freire, remembered the controversial early paintings, and encouraged Minter to test the waters for a second time: a solo show, “Paintings from the 80s,” opens at Team Gallery on Thursday.