Marilyn Minter

'Nasty Woman'

Over the course of five decades, artist Marilyn Minter has radically redefined the nature of feminist art. From the painfully candid early black-and-white photographs of her bedridden mother to her mesmerizing and deeply seductive photorealist paintings of late, Minter’s practice is a constant act of rebellion.

Nasty Woman is a selective survey that highlights the bold prescience of Minter’s early practice, while simultaneously offering viewers the chance to immerse themselves in an array of her most acclaimed artworks. Alongside this landmark visual presentation, SCAD celebrates Minter as the SCAD deFINE ART 2020 honoree.

Signature image for Marilyn Minter exhibition at SCAD Museum of Art
Marilyn Minter, "Orange Crush," enamel on metal, 2009. Collection of John and Amy Phelan, Florida.

Visitors to the exhibition first experience a selection of Minter’s work from the '80s and early '90s, a time when the politics of feminist art were still informed by the singular mindset of the Women’s Liberation movement. In this uncompromising, anti-male atmosphere, Minter’s predilection for appropriating the seductive, male-appointed visual tactics of mass media were not welcomed. Minter found herself without a cohort: She was too much woman for the patriarchy and too vulgar for her female counterparts. However, isolation from her peers allowed Minter the freedom to commit to an uncensored exploration of the sensual.

The exhibition illuminates Minter’s foray into the techniques and visual language of mass media in works from her 100 Food Porn series, in which she replicates the erotic handlings of produce in food commercials. Minter’s esteemed films, such as Green Pink Caviar and Smash, are also on view. In these works, the artist mimics the saturated tones and slow-motion pace of fashion advertising, while simultaneously subverting the illusion of flawless beauty by refusing to mask the realities of the human body. 

Throughout her work, Minter appropriates the glamor of consumer imagery with a skilled attention to detail. Confronting our culture’s love of the superficial, she forcefully surfaces its imperfections.

The exhibition is presented as part of SCAD deFINE ART 2020, the university’s annual program of exhibitions, lectures, and performances held Feb. 18–20 at locations in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia.

About the artist

Born in 1948 in Shreveport, Louisiana, Minter lives and works in New York. She has exhibited extensively in museums and galleries internationally. Venues include the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Fotomuseum, Winterthur, Switzerland; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio; Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, Ohio; La Conservera, Murcia, Spain; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, California; The Kitchen, New York; SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico; and the 2006 Whitney Biennial, New York.

Install Views


Nasty Woman is curated by Ariella Wolens, assistant curator for SCAD exhibitions.

Museum Admission

The exhibition is free for museum members and SCAD students, faculty, and staff with a valid SCAD Card and open to the public with the cost of museum admission.

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