"[Ich]": Fusionen des Autobiographischen in der Kunstgeschichte

  • Kathrin Heinz


Kathrin Heinz

“[I]”: Functions of the Autobiographical in Art History 

Based on autobiographical testimony by Wassily Kandinsky, this paper considers the artist or rather the art historian as an author who cites the artist’s statements about himself. Discussion focuses on the often uncritical approach to such texts in art historiography. Characteristic of such an approach is the prevailing omission of questions about the constructions and functions of artists’ self-statements. Such neglect leads to consolidating the artist as the sovereign and “authentic” originator of his statements, consequently establishing the art historian’s connoisseurship and thereby perpetuating a relationship couched in mythical terms.