This high-quality publication showcases the finest examples of modern erotic art–from Picasso’s explicit sexual sketches to the 1960’s pop-art stylings of Allen Jones to cutting-edge new media work. With generous samplings of erotic illustrations, pin-ups, surreal and comic art from the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as provocative peeks into painting, sculpture, and graphic design, Erotique is a testament to human sexuality and creativity.
Since the 1960s, scores of books purporting to offer a survey of erotic art have been published. Typically they offer a miscellany of images with little explanation as to why they were selected and commentary that consists of generalizations about various aspects of erotic art or descriptive commentary on a period or individual artist’s style. The kind of detailed information that scholarly art books offer for each illustration is rarely provided. Olley’s collection is no exception—in fact, the only information provided on the same page as the illustration is the artist’s name, while titles, dates, and media are listed on a single page of the book in extremely small, almost-unreadable gray type. Sharing many images with Olley’s earlier Ars Erotica: the Best Modern Erotic Art, the book’s primary value is its emphasis on modern and contemporary artists, which could interest erotic art aficionados. VERDICT For libraries interested in having at least one book on the subject, 1000 Erotic Works of Genius would provide a more thorough visual survey of the subject.—Eugene C. Burt, Seattle