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Below are biographies and analysis of the work of the modern artists whose depictions had a significant erotic component. More additions are on the way!

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Erotic Artists: 40 of 332 Total Artists
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American Photographer

Movements and Styles: Modern Photography, Straight Photography, Documentary Photography

Born: March 14, 1923 - New York City, New York

Died: July 26, 1971 - New York City, New York

Diane Arbus is recognized for her insightful street-based compositions and black-and-white portraits of marginalized individuals on the fringes of mainstream society, including images of nudists, transvestites, and mentally and physically handicapped people.

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American Photographer

Movements and Styles: Modern Photography, Straight Photography, Documentary Photography, Fashion Photography

Born: May 15, 1923 - New York City, New York

Died: October 1, 2004 - San Antonio, Texas

Richard Avedon revolutionized fashion photography by enlivening his models, by showing them in movement. He also excelled in black-and-white portraiture - celebraties and common folk were exhibited in psychologoically revealing ways. His large and powerful body of work makes Avedon one of the most famous photographers of all time.

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French Painter, Illustrator, and Theatrical Set Designer

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Born: February 29, 1908 - Paris, France

Died: February 18, 2001 - Rossiniere, Switzerland

Balthus was a Paris-based modern artist whose controversial paintings explored degrees of voyeurism, innocence, and childhood sexuality.

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French Painter

Movements and Styles: Realism, Impressionism

Born: December 5, 1841 - Montepellier, Hérault, Languedoc-Roussillon, France

Died: November 28, 1870 - Beaune-la-Rolande, France

Frédéric Bazille was an Impressionist and Realist painter who came from a wealthy background and was able to help his fellow artists, including Monet, Sisley, and Manet with money and materials. His career and life were cut short, dying in battle during the Franco-Prussian War at just 29 years old.

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British Illustrator and Author

Movements and Styles: Art Nouveau, Aesthetic Art, Decadent Movement

Born: August 21, 1872 - Brighton, Sussex, England

Died: March 16, 1898 - Menton, France

Aubrey Beardsley was a nineteenth-century English illustrator and author. In black ink he created highly erotic, grotesque, and decadant drawings, much in the style of Japanese woodcuts. Beardsley's work was part of the Aesthetic movement, and was highly influential to the subsequent Art Nouveau movement of the early-twentieth century.

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German Artist, Sculptor and Photographer

Movements and Styles: Dada, Surrealism, Modern Photography

Born: March 13, 1902 - Katowice, German Empire (now Poland)

Died: February 24, 1975 - Paris, France

Hans Bellmer was a twentieth-century German avant-garde photographer and draughtsman, commonly associated with the Surrealism movement. Bellmer is best known for creating a series of pubescent female dolls in the 1930s, which were designed as a direct criticism of Nazi-controlled Germany and its idealization of the perfect human form. Bellmer eventually fled Germany for Paris and was embraced by Breton and the French Surrealists.

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French-American Sculptor

Movements and Styles: Surrealism, Body Art, Installation Art, Proto-Feminist Artists

Born: December 25, 1911 - Paris, France

Died: May 31, 2010 - New York, New York, USA

Louise Bourgeois is a French contemporary artist whose work adds a feminist perspective to Surrealism's themes of sex, childhood, and the uncanny. She is best known for her installation 'Cells' and her large-scale spider sculptures.

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French Theoretician and Writer

Movements and Styles: Dada, Surrealism

Born: February 19, 1896 - Normandy, France

Died: September 28, 1966 - Paris, France

André Breton, author of the 1924 Surrealist Manifesto, was an influential theorizer of both Dada and Surrealism. Born in France, he emigrated to New York during World War II, where he greatly influenced the Abstract Expressionists.

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British Painter

Movement: Neo-Expressionism

Born: 1969 - London, England

Cecily Brown is a British painter, best known for her works that incorporate visual elements of figuration and abstraction into an explosive style that builds upon aspects of Willem de Kooning's practice.

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French Painter

Movements and Styles: Realism, Impressionism

Born: August 19, 1848 - Paris, France

Died: February 21, 1894 - Gennevilliers, France

Gustave Caillebotte was a nineteenth-century French painter and one of the Impressionist artists, though his style resembled Realism more than Impressionism. Caillebotte was also an early practitioner of using photography for composing his images, a prominent art patron, and an outspoken supporter of other Impressionists like Pissarro, Monet, and Renoir. His vast wealth also allowed Caillebotte to fund several exhibitions of Impressionist art, and to convince the Louvre to acquire many important works.

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Italian Painter and Mixed-Media Artist

Movement: Neo-Expressionism

Born: March 23, 1952 - Naples, Italy

Francesco Clemente is an Italian painter commonly associated with the Neo-Expressionist movement, otherwise known as Italian Transavantguardia. Much of his work fuses sexuality with an emotional rawness and brutality. Clemente's paintings also contain visual elements of Surrealism.

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French Painter

Movement: Realism

Born: June 10, 1819 - Ornans, Doubs, France

Died: December 31, 1877 - La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland

Gustave Courbet was a French painter and chief figure in the Realist movement of the mid-19th century. His paintings often contained an emotional bleakness, and were praised for their precision and use of light. Along with Delacroix, Courbet was a key influence on the Impressionists.

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American Painter

Movement:

Born: 1962 - Boulder, Colorado

John Currin is best known for his provacative subject matter and technical precision. Due to some of his blatantly pornographic figure paintings, Currin has been attacked for being sexist; accusations he sometimes purposely plays upon in his satirical works.

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Spanish Painter, Sculptor, Filmmaker, Printmaker, and Performance Artist

Movement: Surrealism

Born: May 11, 1904 - Figueras, Catalonia, Spain

Died: January 23, 1989 - Figueras, Catalonia, Spain

Salvador Dalí was a Spanish Surrealist painter who combined a hyperrealist style with dream-like, sexualized subject matter. His collaborations with Hollywood and commercial ventures, alongside his notoriously dramatic personality, earned him scorn from some Surrealist colleagues.

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Belgian Painter

Movement: Surrealism

Born: September 23, 1897 - Antheit, Belgium

Died: July 20, 1994 - Veurne, Belgium

Paul Delvaux was a Belgian Surrealist interested in exploring humanity and the hidden recesses of the subconscious by creating eerie scenes with characters such as nude women and suited men in bowler hats.

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American Watercolorist and Oil Painter

Movements and Styles: Early American Modernism, Precisionism, Impressionism

Born: November 8, 1883 - Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Died: October 23, 1935 - Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Demuth was an important member of the early twentieth century Precisionist movement that emphasized sharp lines and clear geometric shapes. Challenging the boundaries of race, class, sexuality, and artistic tradition he was an instrumental part of advancing American modernism.

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American Painter and Sculptor

Movement: Neo-Expressionism

Born: 1948 - New York, New York

Eric Fischl is an American painter, sculptor, and printmaker, who was a seminal figure of the late twentieth-century Neo-Expressionist movement. From his colorful portraits to his iconic suburban interiors and beach scenes, Fischl's work deals largely with themes of the body, sexuality, and modern American society.

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British Painter

Movements and Styles: Expressionism, Neo-Expressionism, Realism, School of London

Born: December 8, 1922 - Berlin, Germany

Died: July 20, 2011 - London, England

Lucian Freud devoted himself almost entirely to portraiture, applying richer colors and impasto brushstrokes into his intense character studies.

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German Draftsman and Painter

Movements and Styles: Dada, New Objectivity

Born: July 26, 1893 - Berlin, Germany

Died: July 6, 1959 - Berlin, Germany

George Grosz was a German Dada and Neue Sachlichkeit artist. He was enamored of America and highly critical of Weimar society. Grosz immigrated to the United States just as Hitler came to power and opened a private art school in Des Moines.

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German Painter and Printmaker

Movements and Styles: Die Brücke, Expressionism

Born: May 6, 1880 - Aschaffenburg, Bavaria

Died: June 15, 1938 - near Davos, Switzerland

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was one of the driving forces in the Die Brücke group that flourished in Dresden and Berlin before WWI, and one of the most talented and influential of the Expressionists.

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Erotic Artists: 40 of 332 Total Artists

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