John Berger has died aged 90. His essay on art criticism "Ways of Seeing" was hugely influential within the art world.
Below you can
- SEE videos of some of his programmes and
- READ his obituaries. I've very rarely seen so many overseas obituaries so fast after an announcement of a death in the art world.
This is a video of a BBC documentary to celebrate his 90th birthday in 2016. It's filmed at his house in France where he has lived for the last 50 years. Screenshots are from this BBC documentary John Berger: The Art of Looking - I'm sure the iPlayer link will be revived very soon. In the meantime here it is on YouTube.
Below are four videos of his seminal programme - Ways of Seeing - first broadcast by the BBC in 1972. His book associated with the programme became a set text for many art degrees in the UK.
Plus some tweets from those marking his death.
RIP John Berger, who defined and condemned the male gaze with humanity and precision. pic.twitter.com/t5GivCgxoh— Andi Zeisler (@andizeisler) January 2, 2017
Forty-four years ago he was a charismatic presence, looking into the camera with piercing eyes and a frequent frown, as if constantly on the edge of disagreeing with himself. The look was fitting because what the series did was to make people rethink.
Thank you, #JohnBerger, and RIP. "The relationship between what we see and what we know is never settled". pic.twitter.com/vTX3ZpvaEl— Paul Kleiman (@DrPaulKleiman) January 2, 2017
ObituariesThis is what Will Gompertz, BBC Arts Editor, wrote
John Berger's 1972 programme Ways of Seeing changed the way many of us saw.
He argued that the advent of mass media fundamentally altered our perception of art.
The programme was to become iconic and highly influential but would not, he told me a couple of months ago, be made today.
He challenged convention, the establishment and us. He had the eye of artist, intellect of an academic, and charisma of a born performer.
He was though, above all, a writer and story teller. He enriched our lives with his novels, poetry and criticism.
He showed us how to see, not as individuals, but together.
This is what Andrew Marr wrote for an article in the New Statesman (published 28 November 2016) - Why John Berger is the least theoretical Marxist on Earth (RECOMMENDED)
The story of John Berger is the survival and triumph of a shape-shifter. A painter who turned to writing, he became the single most influential commentator on art of our times. A novelist who rejected mainstream fictional forms, he won the Booker Prize in 1972 and used the award to fund Black Panther revolutionaries. A passionate Marxist, he has remained popular throughout the waning of Marxism. An upper-middle-class Englishman, soldier and Londoner, he turned his back on the fizzing metropolis to live in rural France, and so became an authentic internationalist.You can pick the publication which suits you best from the ones below.....
This month he turned 90, but he is still possessed of the wolfish mental and physical energy, the bodily charisma, he has always enjoyed.
- BBC News - John Berger, art critic and author of Ways of Seeing, dies
- The Guardian -
- John Berger, art critic and author, dies aged 90
- A life in quotes: John Berger
- Adrian Searle on John Berger: 'Art for him was never apart from being alive'
- The Telegraph - Booker prize-winning author John Berger dies aged 90
- The Independent - John Berger dead: Booker Prize-winning author and art critic dies age 90
- RECOMMENDED: Apollo Magazine - John Berger (1926–2017)
Berger was the author of art criticism, novels, poetry, screenplays and many less classifiable books. He consistently challenged traditional interpretations of art and society and connections between the two.
The author of Ways of Seeing had a profound impact on generations of artists, critics, historians, curators, and art lovers.
- New York Times - John Berger, Provocative Art Critic, Dies at 90
- Hyperallergic - John Berger, Who Helped the World to See, Dies at 90
- The Indian Express - 55 minutes ago - John Berger, pioneering art critic and author, dies at 90
- Birgün Gazetesi (Turkey) - John Berger: Sabaha kadar Sait Faik okudum
- ZEIT ONLINE - Kunst: John Berger ist tot
- Dagens Nyheter - Författaren John Berger är död
- La Vanguardia - Muere John Berger
- VilaWeb - S'ha mort John Berger a l'edat de 90 anys
- El Periódico de Aragón - Muere John Berger, el artista de la tierra
- LaRepública.pe - John Berger, escritor, pintor y crítico de arte, fallece a los 90 años
- Jornal Floripa - Morre o escritor, pintor, poeta e crítico inglês John Berger, aos 90 anos
90th Birthday articles
- The Economist (blog)-9 Sep 2016 - Art critic as storyteller and starWays of seeing John Berger
- Art Newspaper-27 Oct 2016 - Long may he continue: on John Berger at 90
- The Guardian 30 October 2016 - John Berger: ‘If I’m a storyteller it’s because I listen’