Griselda Pollock

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Griselda Pollock 2019

Griselda Frances Sinclair Pollock[1] (born 11 March 1949)[2] is an art historian and cultural analyst of international, postcolonial feminist studies in the visual arts and visual culture. Based in the United Kingdom, she is known for her theoretical and methodological innovation, combined with readings of historical and contemporary art, film and cultural theory. Since 1977, Pollock has been one of the most influential scholars of modern, avant-garde art, postmodern art, and contemporary art. She is a major influence in feminist theory, feminist art history and gender studies.[3]

Life and work[edit]

Born in South Africa to Alan Winton Seton Pollock and Kathleen Alexandra (née Sinclair),[1] Griselda Pollock grew up in both French and English Canada. Moving to Britain during her teens years, Pollock studied Modern History at Oxford (1967–1970) and History of European Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art (1970–72). She received her doctorate in 1980 for a study of Vincent van Gogh and Dutch Art: A reading of his notions of the modern. After teaching at Reading and Manchester universities, Pollock joined the University of Leeds in 1977 as lecturer in History of Art and Film and was appointed to a Personal Chair in Social and Critical Histories of Art in 1990. In 2001, she became Director of the Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory and History at the University of Leeds, where she is Professor of Social and Critical Histories of Art.[4] She was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Courtauld Institute in 2019,[5] delivering the graduation speech.[6] The Estonian Academy of Art also awarded her an Honorary Doctorate in 2019 and gave a keynote lecture: "Why do we still love Vincent?"[7][8][9]

Art history[edit]

Pollock is a feminist art historian and cultural theorist of art practices and art history.[10][11][12] Her work challenges mainstream models of art and art history that have excluded the role of women in art, and at the same time explores the social structures that result in this exclusion. She examines the interaction of the social categories of gender, class and race,[12] crucially researching the relationship between them and psychoanalysis and art, and drawing on the work of such French cultural theorists as Michel Foucault. Her theorization of subjectivity takes both psychoanalysis and Foucault's ideas about social control into account.[12] She is known for her work on the artists Jean-François Millet, Vincent van Gogh, Mary Cassatt, Bracha L. Ettinger, Eva Hesse and Charlotte Salomon.[3] and Alina Szapocznikow, Lubaina Himid, Sutapa Biswas, Christine Taylor Patten, Louise Bourgeois, Anna Maria Maiolino and Vera Frenkel. She has developed a range of concepts with which to theorise and practice critical feminist interventions in art's histories: old mistresses, vision and difference, avant-garde gambits, generations and geographies, differencing the canon and most recently, the virtual feminist museum.

On 5 March 2020, Pollock was named as the 2020 Holberg Prize Laureate "for her groundbreaking contributions to feminist art history and cultural studies.".[13]

Cultural studies and cultural analysis[edit]

Pollock is the founding director of the Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory and History at the University of Leeds. Initiated with a grant from the then AHRB in 2001, CentreCATH is a transdisciplinary project connecting fine art, histories of art and cultural studies across the shared engagements with class, gender, sexuality, post colonial critique and queer theory. In 2007, with Max Silverman, Pollock initiated the research project Concentrationary Memories: The Politics of Representation which explores the concept of an anxious and vigilant form of cultural memory analysing the devastating effects of the totalitarian assault on the human condition and alert to the persistent not only of this perpetual threat, but is invasion of popular culture. The project explored the forms of aesthetic resistance to totalitarian terror. Four edited collections have been produced: Concentrationary Cinema: Aesthetics and Political Resistance in Night and Fog by Alain Resnais Winner of 2011 Fraszna-Krausz Prize for Best Book on the Moving Image (London and New York: Berghan 2011); Concentrationary Memory: Totalitarian Terror and Cultural Resistance (London: I B Tauris, 2013), Concentrationary Imaginaries: Tracing Totalitarian Violence in Popular Culture (London: I B Tauris ,2015) and Concentrationary Art: Jean Cayrol, the Lazarean and the Everyday in Post-war Film, Literature, Music and the Visual Arts (Berghahn, 2019) (2019).

Personal life[edit]

She is married to Antony Bryant and has a son and a daughter.[14]


  • Millet, London: Oresko Books, 1977.
  • (with Fred Orton) Vincent van Gogh: Artist of his Time, Oxford: Phaidon Press, 1978; US-edition: E. P. Dutton ISBN 0-7148-1883-6. Edited and re-published in: Orton & Pollock 1996, pp. 3–51
  • (with Fred Orton) "Les Données Bretonnantes: La Prairie de Représentation", in: Art History III/3, 1980, pp. 314–344. Reprinted in: Orton & Pollock 1996, pp. 53–88
  • Mary Cassatt, London: Jupiter Books, 1980
  • "Artists mythologies and media genius, madness and art history", in: Screen XXI/3, 1980, pp. 57–96
  • Vincent van Gogh in zijn Hollandse jaren: Kijk op stad en land door Van Gogh en zijn tijdgenoten 1870–1890, exh. cat. Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, 1980/1981 (no ISBN)
  • Old Mistresses; Women, Art and Ideology, London: Routledge & Kegan (Griselda Pollock with Rozsika Parker), 1981. Reissued by I.B. Tauris in 2013.
  • (with Fred Orton) "Cloisonism?", in: Art History V/3, 1982, pp. 341–348. Reprinted in: Orton & Pollock, 1996, pp. 115–124
  • The Journals of Marie Bashkirtseff, London: Virago (newly introduced with Rozsika Parker), 1985.
  • Framing Feminism: Art & the Women’ s Movement 1970–85 (Griselda Pollock with Rozsika Parker), 1987.
  • Vision and Difference: [Femininity, Feminism, and Histories of Art], London: Routledge, and New York: Methuen, 1987.
  • "Inscriptions in the Feminine". In Catherine de Zegher (ed.), Inside the Visible. MIT, 1996. 67–87.
  • Agency and the Avant-Garde: Studies in Authorship and History by Way of Van Gogh, in Block 1989/15, pp. 5–15. Reprinted in: Orton & Pollock 1996, pp. 315–342
  • "Oeuvres Autistes." In: Versus 3, 1994, pp. 14–18
  • (Edited with Richard Kendall)Dealing with Degas: Representations of Women and the Politics of Vision. London: Pandora Books, 1992 (now Rivers Oram Press).
  • Avant-Garde Gambits: Gender and the Colour of Art History, London: Thames and Hudson, 1993.
  • "Trouble in the archives". Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies. Duke University Press. 4 (3). 1992. OCLC 936734168.
  • (Edited), Generations and Geographies: Critical Theories and Critical Practices in Feminism and the Visual Arts, Routledge, 1996. ISBN 0-415-14128-1
  • (with Fred Orton) Avant-Gardes and Partisans Reviewed, Manchester University Press, 1996. ISBN 0-7190-4398-0
  • The Ambivalence of Pleasure, Getty Art History Oral Documentation Project, interview by Richard Cándida Smith, Getty Research Institute, 1997.
  • Mary Cassatt Painter of Modern Women, London: Thames & Hudson: World of Art, 1998.
  • (Edited with Richard Thomson), On not seeing Provence: Van Gogh and the landscape of consolation, 1888–1889, in: Framing France: The representation of landscape in France, 1870–1914, Manchester University Press, 1998, pp. 81–118 ISBN 0-7190-4935-0
  • Aesthetics. Politics. Ethics Julia Kristeva 1966–96, Special Issue Guest Edited parallax, no. 8, 1998.
  • Differencing the Canon: Feminism and the Histories of Art, London: Routledge, 1999.
  • Looking Back to the Future: Essays by Griselda Pollock from the 1990s, New York: G&B New Arts, introduced by Penny Florence, 2000. ISBN 90-5701-132-8.
  • (Edited with Valerie Mainz), Work and the Image, 2 vols. London: Ashgate Press, 2000.
  • Vision and Difference: Feminism, Femininity and the Histories of Art (Chapter 1: Feminist interventions in the histories of art: an introduction, Chapter 3: Modernity and the spaces of femininity), Routledge Classics, 2003.
  • (Edited), Psychoanalysis and the Image, Boston and Oxford: Blackwell, 2006. ISBN 1-4051-3461-5
  • A Very Long Engagement: Singularity and Difference in the Critical Writing on Eva Hesse in Griselda Pollock with Vanessa Corby (eds), Encountering Eva Hesse, London and Munich: Prestel, 2006.
  • (Edited with Joyce Zemans), Museums after Modernism, Boston: Blackwells, 2007.
  • Encounters in the Virtual Feminist Museum Time, Space and the Archive, London: Routledge, 2007. ISBN 978-0-415-41374-9
  • (Edited, with Victoria Turvey-Sauron), The Sacred and the Feminine, London: I.B. Tauris, 2008.
  • "Opened, Closed and Opening: Reflections on Feminist Pedagogy in a UK University". N.paradoxa. KT Press. 27: 20–28. July 2010.
  • Digital and Other Virtualities: Renegotiating the Image, edited by Griselda Pollock and Antony Bryant, I.B. Tauris, 2010. 9781845115685.
  • After-effects/After-images: Trauma and aesthetic transformation in the Virtual Feminist Museum, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013. 978-0-7190-8798-1
  • Pollock, Griselda (September 2016). "Is feminism a trauma, a bad memory, or a virtual future?". differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies. Duke University Press. 27 (2): 27–61. doi:10.1215/10407391-3621697.
  • Charlotte Salomon and the Theatre of Memory, Yale University Press, 2018. ISBN 978-0300100723.
  • Bracha L Ettinger, Matrixial Subjectivity, Aesthetics and Ethics edited by Griselda Pollock. Palgrave MacMillan, 2020.978-1-137-34515-8

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b The International Who's Who of Women; 3rd ed.; ed. Elizabeth Sleeman, Europa Publications, 2002, p. 453
  2. ^ "Birthdays", The Guardian, p. 33, 11 March 2014
  3. ^ a b See Sue Malvern, "Griselda Pollock", in Chris Murray (ed.), Key Writers on Art: The Twentieth Century (London: Routledge, 2002) p. 199f.
  4. ^ Griselda Pollock, Looking Back to the Future (London: Routledge, 2001) p. 363.
  5. ^ "Griselda Pollock and Daniella Luxembourg awarded honours by The Courtauld Institute of Art". The Courtauld Institute of Art. 22 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Professor Griselda Pollock: Graduation Speech 2019". The Courtauld Institute of Art.
  7. ^ "EKA 105 open lecture: Griselda Pollock - Estonian Academy of Arts". Estonian Academy of Arts. 28 October 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  8. ^ "Video". Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  9. ^ Kunstiakadeemia, Eesti (2 November 2015). "Griselda Pollock 30.04.2013" – via Vimeo.
  10. ^ Griselda Pollock, Encounters in the Virtual Feminist Museum. Routledge, 2007.
  11. ^ Harris, Jonathan (2001). The New Art History: A Critical Introduction. London: Routledge. ISBN 9780415230070. OCLC 186421159.
  12. ^ a b c Yefimov, Alla (March 1990). "Feminist Interventions, Shifting Terrains: An Interview with Griselda Pollock". Afterimage. 17 (8): 8–11.
  13. ^ "2020 Holberg Prize and Nils Klim Prize Laureates Announced". holbergprisen. 5 March 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  14. ^ "Griselda Pollock - Dictionary of Art Historians". Retrieved 11 March 2017.

External links[edit]