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Virginia Rigney

The privileges of artistic ambiguity have been stretched a little by the publishers in choosing such a broad subtitle for this work. So, as the author does, let’s clarify what Erotic Ambiguities is about: ‘While focusing on the female body in art, this book considers the way in which visual art produced by women was informed by feminism.’ This statement, as it turns out, is also not entirely true, as some works by male artists are discussed and the author does not limit herself to literal depictions of the human form. Furthermore, feminism is acknowledged as too loose a term and McDonald clarifies her territory by adding ‘contemporary feminism is a coalition of various conflicting feminisms that are neither co-existive nor independent’.

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