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Vision and Difference: Femininity, Feminism and Histories of Art

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The publication of 'Vision and Difference' marked a milestone in the development of modern art history. Its introduction of a feminist perspective into this largely male-oriented discipline made shockwaves that are still felt forcefully today. Drawing upon feminist cultural theory previously little applied to the visual arts, Griselda Pollock offers concrete historical ana The publication of 'Vision and Difference' marked a milestone in the development of modern art history. Its introduction of a feminist perspective into this largely male-oriented discipline made shockwaves that are still felt forcefully today. Drawing upon feminist cultural theory previously little applied to the visual arts, Griselda Pollock offers concrete historical analyses of key moments in the formation of modern culture to reveal the sexual politics at the heart of modernist art. Crucially, she not only provides a feminist re-reading of the work of canonical male Impressionist and Pre-Raphaelite artists including Edgar Degas and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, but also re-inserts into art history their female contemporaries - women artists such as Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt. Casting her critical eye over the contemporary art scene, Pollock discusses the work of women artists such as Mary Kelly and Yve Lomax, highlighting the problems of working in a culture where the feminine is still defined as the object of the male gaze. Now published with a new introduction by Griselda Pollock, 'Vision and Difference' remains as powerful and as essential reading as ever for all those seeking not only to understand the history of the feminine in art but also to develop new strategies for representation for the future.


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The publication of 'Vision and Difference' marked a milestone in the development of modern art history. Its introduction of a feminist perspective into this largely male-oriented discipline made shockwaves that are still felt forcefully today. Drawing upon feminist cultural theory previously little applied to the visual arts, Griselda Pollock offers concrete historical ana The publication of 'Vision and Difference' marked a milestone in the development of modern art history. Its introduction of a feminist perspective into this largely male-oriented discipline made shockwaves that are still felt forcefully today. Drawing upon feminist cultural theory previously little applied to the visual arts, Griselda Pollock offers concrete historical analyses of key moments in the formation of modern culture to reveal the sexual politics at the heart of modernist art. Crucially, she not only provides a feminist re-reading of the work of canonical male Impressionist and Pre-Raphaelite artists including Edgar Degas and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, but also re-inserts into art history their female contemporaries - women artists such as Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt. Casting her critical eye over the contemporary art scene, Pollock discusses the work of women artists such as Mary Kelly and Yve Lomax, highlighting the problems of working in a culture where the feminine is still defined as the object of the male gaze. Now published with a new introduction by Griselda Pollock, 'Vision and Difference' remains as powerful and as essential reading as ever for all those seeking not only to understand the history of the feminine in art but also to develop new strategies for representation for the future.

30 review for Vision and Difference: Femininity, Feminism and Histories of Art

  1. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    This is not an easy read, very academic. But if you enjoy art history like I do, you'll like it :) This is not an easy read, very academic. But if you enjoy art history like I do, you'll like it :)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Khoi

    Along with Linda Nochlin, Griselda Pollock is undoubtedly one of the most significant figure in feminist art history. Her essays are written with great clarity and her ideas thoroughly excavated. She posed the questions of whether the belated inclusion of female artists in established art histories is truly appropriate and adequate, and explored the root errors dated back long before Manet's Olympia. Being a sterling researcher and unabashed champion of female artists, in her monographic essays Along with Linda Nochlin, Griselda Pollock is undoubtedly one of the most significant figure in feminist art history. Her essays are written with great clarity and her ideas thoroughly excavated. She posed the questions of whether the belated inclusion of female artists in established art histories is truly appropriate and adequate, and explored the root errors dated back long before Manet's Olympia. Being a sterling researcher and unabashed champion of female artists, in her monographic essays on Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt, she discussed the specificity of their oeuvre in tight comparison with their male contemporaries. It's such a shame I didn't come across this book sooner when I was struggling with my last semester's essays which would have been enriched greatly by the ideas put forth in this book. I would love to study more of her work in the parameter of a proper course rather than simply just through reading, as there is ample room for discussion of the issues surrounding art history and a practice, both in its flaws and scaffolding paradigm.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mohamed

    This book was a great read. It spoke mainly of four broad topics: the level to which sexism and misogyny are systematised in art history, the benefits to he had from incorporating Marxist and feminist theory to build a new art history, the creation of the individual creative masculine artist as a subject indépendant of its conditions throughout the modernist movement, and the voyeuristic and fetishistic dynamic which occupies the space of viewing art. Many great works analysed and used to back u This book was a great read. It spoke mainly of four broad topics: the level to which sexism and misogyny are systematised in art history, the benefits to he had from incorporating Marxist and feminist theory to build a new art history, the creation of the individual creative masculine artist as a subject indépendant of its conditions throughout the modernist movement, and the voyeuristic and fetishistic dynamic which occupies the space of viewing art. Many great works analysed and used to back up the claim, and overall a pretty easy read if you know a few things about psychoanalysis and Marxism

  4. 5 out of 5

    Fenna Rubingh

    heavy read but learnt a lot about female representation, esp from the ‘beginnings’ of art history

  5. 4 out of 5

    Braden Scott

    Pollock analyses psychoanalytic theory in art in such a way that acknowledges some sillyness, but does not refute the field as one with strong attributes. Also, insisting on repositioning marxism as something outside of feminism is so obvious and refreshing to see in academia.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This book taught me to think differently about history-- not just art history, but all of history and the political perspectives inherent within it. I highly reccomend this to everyone-- especially those with an interest in art.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sibel

    History of Art!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Whitney Gao

    Used this book for my thesis research, but honestly loved reading it so much that I bought my own copy.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nguyen Bich

    Interesting

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Blank

    Re-read from a long time ago. I wanted to see what had changed (from my perspective) since I read this book nineteen years ago. Quite a lot really and some aspects I missed in the initial read of this dense and forceful book I did not contest but have more confidence now. e.g. the failure to acknowledge that large flat areas of paint or space in Impressionist/Post-Impressionist painting (the interpretation of internalised space within painting p63 final paragraph ) were directly linked to the in Re-read from a long time ago. I wanted to see what had changed (from my perspective) since I read this book nineteen years ago. Quite a lot really and some aspects I missed in the initial read of this dense and forceful book I did not contest but have more confidence now. e.g. the failure to acknowledge that large flat areas of paint or space in Impressionist/Post-Impressionist painting (the interpretation of internalised space within painting p63 final paragraph ) were directly linked to the interest in and exposure to Japanese prints where flat colour and space were a significant design aspect. The book cites other rather more political reasons which seem somewhat less convincing than the established view of the importance of Japoneserie on Impressionism which is evident across many of the movements protagonists. The final chapter is still relevant and important in establishing a foundation for students to refer to in terms of understanding what the 1970s represent in terms of thinking and societal change in conceptualisation. The photo/installation works provide strong contextual references for critical discussion on conceptual and aesthetic values from a time of action and challenge to the establishment of the day.

  11. 5 out of 5

    George Millership

    I'd say groundbreaking, but it feels like Pollock is introducing common sense into a hegemonic and wanky art world! (That, of course, is a disservice). These are incredible essays, and an essential reader for understanding art and how its histories/politics are constructed. That being said, I wouldn't say it is an accessible work. There's lots of dense, technical language - Pollock certainly doesn't treat you like an idiot. (9/10) I'd say groundbreaking, but it feels like Pollock is introducing common sense into a hegemonic and wanky art world! (That, of course, is a disservice). These are incredible essays, and an essential reader for understanding art and how its histories/politics are constructed. That being said, I wouldn't say it is an accessible work. There's lots of dense, technical language - Pollock certainly doesn't treat you like an idiot. (9/10)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Keziah

  13. 4 out of 5

    Missnadjetmalki

  14. 5 out of 5

    Louise

  15. 4 out of 5

    Susannah

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lou

  17. 4 out of 5

    Clara

  18. 4 out of 5

    Christine (Padfoot's Library)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dylan

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anisha ralhan

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nadine Majaro

  23. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

  24. 5 out of 5

    maria piderit guzman

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kat

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Rose

  27. 5 out of 5

    Irene

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mayanne

  29. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

  30. 5 out of 5

    John

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