new-york

Marilyn Minter

Xavier Laboulbenne Gallery

In Marilyn Minter’s new paintings “cosmetics” is the metaphorical terrain on which feminist interests (the representation of women, the topos of “the beauty myth”) and pictorial questions intersect. But more conspicuous are the issues concerning these works’ structure as paintings. Is “painting” a verb or a noun, a way of doing or a way of seeing things? The debate is joined by two works from 1996. In Dye-Job a woman’s head, cloaked in deep shadow à la Eugene Carrière, looks downward as a blue-handled brush comes in from the upper left to magically paint a swathe of her hair bright blonde. The beautician’s brush appears to add color to a substratum of form, but this glow is really that of an entirely different substance. In Vamp, by contrast, our attention is drawn to the surface of the painting, which seems to correspond, with its glinting, wavering effects of reflection, to that of a

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