By any measure, the paintings, photos, videos and wallpapers that made up Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty — which filled all three floors of MCA Denver — were over the top, a combined consequence of the artist's accomplished technique, outrageous choice of subjects and effortlessly conveyed, spectacular visual impact. The exhibit, expertly curated by Bill Arning, director of Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and Elissa Auther, a guest curator at MCA Denver, surveyed Minter's oeuvre from the '70s to the present, charting the course of her career from early fame to later obscurity (as she fell into the sex-drugs-and-punk scene in the East Village in the '80s) and, finally, to her rediscovery during the past ten years. Throughout, Minter mined some unlikely sources — food, high fashion, hardcore porn and urban grit — to achieve her relentlessly sumptuous results. One of the secrets to Minter's success — and, ultimately, this show — is the way her works are simultaneously appealing and repulsive, compelling viewers to alternately look at and look away from them.
Readers' choice: Mythic Creatures, Denver Museum of Nature & Science