The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

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Important Update

May 1, 2005 to August 7, 2005 |

Contemporary Erotic Drawing

In a cross-country partnership with independent curator Stuart Horodner-who conceived the idea for the project-and DiverseWorks director Sora Kellner, the Museum’s goal was to revisit one of the oldest and most robust forms of art, erotic drawing, in the light of contemporary cultural realities. In recent years, our culture has been saturated with explicit photographic and computer-based images that sell us fantasies of sex in a variety of public and private zones. Concurrent with this explosion of promised flesh is a growing fascination with the traditional aspects of picture making, especially representational imagery. This has led to a renaissance in erotic drawing. This exhibition brings together examples of drawings dealing with the sexualized human body that are personal, comic, political, beautiful, startling, reflective, and biographical.

The fusion of the personally charged process of drawing with the universal common denominator of sex follows ancient traditions in both Western and Eastern art. Erotica has flourished in earlier periods of great wealth and heightened morality, including Victorian Britain and Meiji Japan. What is different now is the ubiquitous saturation of sexually tinged imagery in the media. Commercially, sexually charged images sell. Contemporary Erotic Drawing provides an essential reclamation of an often-suppressed cultural tradition­ erotic drawing-from the context of the commercial mainstream.

The curators would like to express gratitude to, and admiration for, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, whose willingness to support challenging projects is of fundamental importance to our culture.