Review: Marilyn Minter

The artist enters her silver age.

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  • Photograph: Courtesy Salon 94; New York

    Marilyn Minter, Heavy Metal

    Marilyn Minter, Heavy Metal

  • Photograph: Courtesy Salon 94; New York

    Marilyn Minter, Playpen

    Marilyn Minter, Playpen

  • Photograph: Courtesy Salon 94; New York

    Marilyn Minter, Cheshire (Wangechi)

    Marilyn Minter, Cheshire (Wangechi)

  • Photograph: Courtesy Salon 94; New York

    Marilyn Minter, Glisterine

    Marilyn Minter, Glisterine

  • Photograph: Courtesy Salon 94; New York

    Marilyn Minter, Mercury

    Marilyn Minter, Mercury

Photograph: Courtesy Salon 94; New York

Marilyn Minter, Heavy Metal

Marilyn Minter, Heavy Metal

Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5

Just when you thought she couldn't get any better, veteran artist Marilyn Minter returns with four huge and spectacular new paintings. Heavy Metal, a billboard-size image, depicts a woman's feet in metallic silver high heels, stamping through a puddle of metallic silver liquid that splashes not only up and out, but onto the presumed lens of the camera that  captured the scene, which here becomes the painted picture plane. A tour de force of photorealism, the canvas bears traces of countless fingerprints used to blend the pigment into compellingly rendered effects of reflection, stop-action and shifting focus. (Imagine Vermeer channeling Harold Edgerton with loving diligence.) Glamorous, yet also slightly repellent, Heavy Metal feels like a drunk's-eye view of 4am in the Meatpacking District writ large, and, like a glimmer of recognition before passing out, hints that our obsession with fashionable consumption is not all it's cracked up to be. Luxury is degradation.

Play Pen, a slo-mo video of infants and toddlers happily splashing away in actual pools of viscous liquid—silver colored or shot through with silver glitter—also traffics in simultaneous seduction and disgust; the innocence of the fair-skinned babes plays off against the sinister sparkle of the unnatural amniotic goop. Mercury, a ten-foot-tall painting of one of the babies, however, strikes the only cheesy note. Lacking the undercurrent of repulsion found in the video and the other paintings, this paint-splattered kid might just as well be starring in an Anne Geddes calendar.

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