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Eroticism and Art


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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. The Rhetoric of the Nude; 2. The Naked Truth; 3. Primitive Drives; 4. The Erotic Body between the Wars; 5. Surrealism's Erotic Politics; 6. Erotic Art in Wartime and After; 7. Eros and the 1960s; 8. Visual Pleasure and Identity Politics; 9. Eroticism and the Culture Wars of the 1980s and 1990s; 10. Erotic Fragmentation and Abjection; Conclusion; Notes; Bibliography

About the Author

Alyce Mahon was educated at Trinity College Dublin and the Courtauld Institute in London. She is now Lecturer in Modern Art at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge. She specializes in twentieth-century art and critical theory, with a particular research emphasis on Surrealism, French art and politics, and performance art.


This is arguably the most thoughtful book on erotic art recently published. Mahon (modern art, Cambridge) reflects on issues raised by the historically persistent production of erotica from the perspective of an art historian. The major focus of the text is the last 150 years of Western erotic art, although an introductory essay notes its broader history. Chapters follow a roughly chronological arrangement, with subject matter ranging from an examination of such traditional 19th-century themes as the nude, bathers, and the exotic other to major 20th-century art movements such as Surrealism to recent developments like the impact of rapid political and social change in expanding the breadth of erotic imagery. The illustrations are, unfortunately, too few to reveal fully the author's reasoned arguments, and the selection tends to favor tamer, less explicit representations. Nevertheless, this book is highly recommended for any academic library with an interest in art or sexology.-Eugene C. Burt, Data Arts, Seattle Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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