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Essay on Griselda Pollock's Opinion on Art History

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The article Artists Mythologies and Media Genius, Madness and Art History (1980) by Griselda Pollock is a forty page essay where Pollock (1980), argues and explains her views on the crucial question, "how art history works" (Pollock, 1980, p.57). She emphasizes that there should be changes to the practice of art history and uses Van Gogh as a major example in her study. Her thesis is to prove that the meaning behind artworks should not be restricted only to the artist who creates it, but also to realize what kind of economical, financial, social situation the artist may have been in to influence the subject that is used. (Pollock, 1980, pg. 57) She explains her views through this thesis and further develops this idea by engaging in scholarly debates with art historians and researcher, and objecting to how they claim there is a general state of how art is read. She structures her paragraphs in ways that allows her to present different kinds of evidences from a variety sources while using a formal yet persuasive tone of voice to get her point across to the reader.
Pollock (1980) begins her article by drawing in her audience in; asking how is it possible that art history does not incorporate any other field beyond the artist in order to explain the meaning behind their work. She then explains that her article is mainly about how she rejects how art historians are depicting artworks and restricting themselves in explaining the work solely based on the biography of the artist who created it. (Pollock, 1980, pg.58)
In order for her to be able to back up her thesis she references studies done by art historians and pull out quotes that she finds are significant to the paper and counter-argues in order to back up her thesis. One example...


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...eir important to art history.
Pollock uses different aspects of writing to back up her thesis and to emphasis that there is more to the subject the artist use in their creation. By using a variety of resources and counter-arguing them, she is backing up her own thesis and proving that there is a stereotype in art history where art historians do not explain past the artistic influence thus does not fully explain an artist or their artworks. She makes a point that because of this, there has to be changes to art practices today in order to fully understand the meaning behind artworks.





Works Cited

Griselda Pollock. (1980). Artists Mythologies and Media Genius, Madness and Art History.
Retrieved from https://portal.utoronto.ca/bbcswebdav/pid-3495758-dt-content-rid-18584371_2/courses/Fall-2013-VST100H5-F-LEC0101/Essay%202_Griselda%20Pollock_Screen-1980_57-96.pdf


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