John Berger – 1926-2017

Art critic and author John Berger has died at the age of 90. His best-known work was Ways of Seeing, a criticism of western cultural aesthetics, but he also won the Booker Prize for his novel G. He donated half the prize money to the radical African-American movement, the Black Panthers.

His editor Tom Overton, who is writing Berger’s biography, said the writer “… let us know that art would enrich our lives”.

Berger was born in Hackney, north London, and began his career as a painter. Soon after his work was exhibited in the 1940s, he turned his hand to writing. His works ranged from poetry to screenplays, writings on photography, the exploitation of migrant workers and the Palestinian struggle for statehood.

Mr Overton, who edited Portraits: John Berger on Artists and Landscapes: John Berger on Art, said: “John Berger said his great themes were the experience of exile and the disastrous relationship between art and property. So it feels like we need him more than ever at the moment. But he also said some books get younger with time, and I know many of his will.”

Berger’s Bafta award-winning BBC TV series Ways of Seeing became regarded as one of the most influential art programmes ever made.

You can see the complete series starting with Episode 1 at the link below.

artist forms link

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