Marilyn Minter

American (Shreveport, Louisiana, 1948)

Marilyn Minter studied both painting and photography at the University of Florida and Syracuse University. Her ironic paintings of the 1980s critiqued the way popular culture and Pop Art alike treat women as unrealistic mannequins. She borrowed images from both housewives' magazines and hardcore pornography; her appropriations from the latter were sharply criticized. In the mid-1990s, she exhibited a long-shelved series of photographs of her reclusive, drug-addicted mother. At that point Minter began taking pictures again and based her paintings on her own photos rather than on found sources. In her unforgiving close-ups, the flaws of the human body collide with the heavily made-up, jewel-bedecked fictions of the glamour industry. At once seductive and unnerving, these works explore the complicated relationship between media representations and self-image.


From June 3, 2013, through early 2016, SFMOMA's building on Third Street in San Francisco will be temporarily closed for expansion construction. Selected artworks in our collection are included in a range of off-site exhibitions during this period. We regret that the remainder of the collection will not be available for study during this time.

In the meantime, we invite you to explore a wide selection of our collection online. Please note that the information presented online is subject to revision. Please contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to verify artwork details.

This resource is for educational use and its contents may not be reproduced without permission. Please review our Terms of Use for more information.