History of Art


Nikos Stangos Memorial Lecture 2021: Griselda Pollock

11 June 2021, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Griselda Pollock

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Rose Marie San Juan

Griselda Pollock

Monroe’s Mark: Why is a feminist art historian writing about a screen idol?

MM Mark 1 is a series of prints created by Kerry Filer Harker in 1994. The artist has extracted the double slash of nail varnish that defaced a contact sheet of photographs by fashion photographer Bert Stern from a shoot for Vogue in July 1961 and sheahs faded out the surrounding image. This Stern later published the entire body of photographs under the bathetic title The Last Sitting since the model for these images died on4/5 August 1961, rendering this photo-session her last performance before the still camera. In publishing every image, including those the sitter had defaced —using her rights under the terms of the contract to negate any image she did not want published—Stern breached an ethical commitment that registered the unexpected post-mortem hunger for images of this woman. By her isolation of the applied, material, painterly gesture of the woman on the image whose transparency is haunted by the face of the woman, Filer renegotiates this conundrum orienting the viewer in what we must name both feminist critique and feminist solidarity. In my lecture, I shall examine the impression Monroe left on the visual arts, both as an appropriated image and as a complex figuration of femininity and sexuality during a key post-war, Cold War decade that is marked art historically by contradictorily abstract and figurative  ‘New American Painting’, delivered to art history by  the critics, curators, art historians in this period as an all-male production. My double project is to use Monroe’s Mark as a doorway into the art historiography of the 1950s avant-garde painters.

All staff and students are very welcome to attend! 

About the Speaker

Professor Griselda Pollock

at University of Leeds

More about Professor Griselda Pollock