Vision and Difference

Griselda Pollock

Art, Feminism
Griselda Pollock


Published in 1988, Vision and Difference marked a milestone in the history of feminist discourse and re defined canonical writing and definitions within modern art and its legacy.

Still teaching now at Leeds University. Griselda Pollock provides concrete historical analyses of key moments in the formation of modern culture in order to reveal the sexual politics at the heart of modernist art. Crucially, she not only explores a feminist re-reading of the works 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.

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, Vision and Difference is as powerful 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.

Makes claim for the necessity of feminism on the grounds not that it is a framework that ‘should be’ applied – but that it can act in opposition to the fact that the old dominant mode of investigation is unable to satisfactorily explore the phenomenon being analysed. Not so much a defective ideology as an ideologically constraining one.