Art History & Appreciation

I Know It When I See It Series: Why Is It So Difficult to Define “Erotic Art”?

Event Information
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Advance registration is required.

This is event is being held online. After registering, connection information will be emailed to you.

General Public
$100 for all four sessions/ $25 per class
PAFA Members: $80 for all four sessions/ $20 per class
Image of Claudia Bach Pregnant by Alice Neel

 Inspired by PAFA’s retrospective exhibition of the work of pioneering feminist Joan Semmel (b. 1932), this series of four evening lectures will explore issues suggested by her preferred subject matter: the unclothed human body.  More specifically, in these richly illustrated talks art historian Nancy G. Heller will explore what is generally called “erotic” art.  

Since there is little consensus regarding how to define or interpret erotic art, this series will not attempt to offer answers.  Rather, it will pose and explore a great many questions, including:  Why is one painting, drawing, print, photograph, or sculpture of a person without clothing considered erotic, while another is not?  What is the difference between erotic art and pornography? 

For Class One artists to be discussed include Robert Mapplethorpe, Alice Neel, Niki de Saint Phalle, Frida Kahlo, and Mickalene Thomas.

Important Note: To help accommodate diverse schedules, individual class sessions will be recorded and made available to class participants for a week after each class takes place.

This program is offered in conjunction with the exhibition Joan Semmel: Skin In The Game