30. April – 12. June 2011

For the first time, the oeuvre of US artist Marilyn Minter (born 1948) is the subject of an extensive exhibition in Germany. Her works oscillate between painting and photography, often focusing on the themes of eroticism and femininity. The hyperrealist close-ups of seemingly glamorous images, (including lips, eyes and toes dripping in make-up) examine the increasing divide between the fictitious image of the body conveyed by the media and advertising and the real body itself. In a wide-ranging series made in 2007 it is Pamela Anderson who is the model. Excerpts from Minter’s “Green Pink Cavier” were chosen in 2009 by Madonna as the stage backdrop for her “Sticky & Sweet” world tour.

In Marilyn Minter’s work, pride of place goes to the complex relationship between body, photography and painting. Here, Minter exposes all our cultural inhibitions in dealing with sexuality and desire, the hyperrealist shots of high-gloss surfaces and sections of the body are both seductive and irritating at once. In the fragmented representation of lips, eyes, mouths and necks, decadence confronts beauty and the pitfalls of glamour collide with the fascination it exerts. Minter’s voyeuristic hallucinations seem both tempting and dangerous. Beauty here proves to be a brittle construct in which sensuality and self-destruction are two sides of the same coin; flesh, yearning, sexuality and gender models are revealed to be commercial products. Moreover, Minter’s playful use of the clichés of the staged body is an experiment that affords unusual angles on the abstract beauty cult of advertising and fashion.

Born in 1948 in Shreveport, Louisiana, USA, Marilyn Minter studied at the University of Florida and at Syracuse University. Her works have been displayed in countless exhibitions, including shows at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, Paris, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Works by Marilyn Minter are, among other things, represented in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum, Deutsche Bank (New York), Kunsthaus Museum (Zurich), and the Museum of Modern Art (New York). She has held the Guggenheim Fellowship New York, a stipend from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Grant.

Simultaneous to the opening of the Marilyn Minter retrospective, Harburger Sammlung will be inaugurating a permanent room for Hamburg’s own concept artist Hanne Darboven, who died in 2009. On April 29, 2011 the renowned artist, who lived and worked only three kilometers from Harburger Sammlung, would have turned 70. The opening of the room will also launch a program of events in May 2011 initiated in honor of Hanne Darboven by the Hanne Darboven Foundation. For further information on the commemorative events please contact Jörg Plickat at or call him on +49-4334-1242.

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