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John Berger was a British art critic and writer who died in 2017 at 90. A prodigious writer from the 20th Century who made a name for himself by attacking traditional critics who repeatedly chose to separate the art they scrutinized from its political and social context, Berger wasn’t afraid to oppose mainstream opinions.
Order of Into Their Labours Series
|1||Pig Earth||1979||Description / Buy|
|2||Once In Europa||1987||Description / Buy|
|3||Lilac And Flag||1990||Description / Buy|
Order of John Berger Non-Fiction Books
|1||The Success and Failure of Picasso||1965||Description / Buy|
|2||A Fortunate Man||1967||Description / Buy|
|3||The Moment of Cubism||1969||Description / Buy|
|4||Ways of Seeing||1972||Description / Buy|
|5||A Seventh Man||1975||Description / Buy|
|6||About Looking||1980||Description / Buy|
|7||Permanent Red||1981||Description / Buy|
|8||Another Way of Telling||1982||Description / Buy|
|9||About Time||1985||Description / Buy|
|10||Titian (Short Story)||1996||Description / Buy|
|11||I Send You This Cadmium Red||2000||Description / Buy|
|12||The Shape of a Pocket||2001||Description / Buy|
|13||Selected Essays||2001||Description / Buy|
|14||Arturo Di Stefano (Short Story)||2002||Description / Buy|
|15||Reflections on The White Bird||2005||Description / Buy|
|16||Berger on Drawing||2007||Description / Buy|
|17||The Red Tenda of Bologna||2007||Description / Buy|
|18||Hold Everything Dear Dispatches on Survival and Resistance (Short Story)||2008||Description / Buy|
|19||Why Look at Animals?||2009||Description / Buy|
|20||Bento's Sketchbook||2011||Description / Buy|
|21||Cataract (Short Story)||2011||Description / Buy|
|22||Understanding a Photograph||2013||Description / Buy|
|23||Portraits||2015||Description / Buy|
|24||Confabulations||2016||Description / Buy|
|25||Landscapes||2016||Description / Buy|
|26||Garden on My Cheek (Short Story)||2016||Description / Buy|
|27||Railtracks||2018||Description / Buy|
|28||Smoke (Short Story)||2018||Description / Buy|
|29||What Time Is It? (Short Story)||2019||Description / Buy|
Order of John Berger Plays & Poems
|1||Jonah Who Will Be Twenty-Five in the Year 2000||1978||Description / Buy|
|2||And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos (Short Story)||1984||Description / Buy|
|3||The Sense of Sight||1985||Description / Buy|
|4||A Question of Geography (Short Story)||1987||Description / Buy|
|5||Three Lives of Lucie Cabrol (Short Story)||1995||Description / Buy|
|6||Photocopies||1996||Description / Buy|
|7||Collected Poems (Short Story)||2014||Description / Buy|
|8||Long White Thread of Words||2016||Description / Buy|
Order of John Berger Standalone Novels
|1||Marcel Frishman (Short Story)||1958||Description / Buy|
|2||A Painter of Our Time||1958||Description / Buy|
|3||The Foot Of Clive||1962||Description / Buy|
|4||Corker's Freedom||1964||Description / Buy|
|5||G.||1972||Description / Buy|
|6||The Look of Things||1972||Description / Buy|
|7||Keeping a Rendezvous||1991||Description / Buy|
|8||To the Wedding||1995||Description / Buy|
|9||Isabelle (Short Story)||1998||Description / Buy|
|10||King||1999||Description / Buy|
|11||Here Is Where We Meet||2005||Description / Buy|
|12||From A To X||2011||Description / Buy|
|13||Lapwing and Fox||2016||Description / Buy|
He argued that the perceptions and attitudes of society were most accurately presented in the art that each era of human history produced. He used women as a stark example, highlighting the way they were always painted as sexual objects in artistic creations.
He wasn’t afraid to attack the people behind the Booker Prize in 1972 even after winning the accolade, making mention of the fact that the Prize’s origins were strongly associated with Caribbean slave labor. This drove him to donate half of the prize money he had won to the Black Panthers. According to John Berger, the views of the group were closely aligned with his own.
In the final years of his life, he garnered some attention for speaking against Israel in their conflict with Palestine, going so far as to call for a military embargo on the country. And yet it is for his artistic endeavors that Berger will be remembered.
John Berger was born in 1926 to Miriam and Stanley. His father was raised as a Jew, though he wasn’t dedicated to his religion. In fact. he eventually became a catholic. Stanley wanted to become a priest. But he was eventually drawn into the chaos of WWI.
It was during that period that he lost his faith. He earned the Military Cross for his service. His son, John, had a prosperous middle-class upbringing. His mother came from a working-class life but John Berger’s childhood was more privileged.
At 16, Berger set his sights on the central school of art after completing his studies at St. Edward’s School in Oxford. Berger was interested in painting. Quite a number of people had the opportunity to see his work in London’s galleries in the 1940s.
But he never got the chance to complete his studies at the central school of art. Instead, the author was pulled into the army in 1944. He was sent to Northern Ireland from where he was afforded the opportunity to interact with working-class people.
They fascinated him and he did not hesitate to write for them the letters they needed to send to their friends, family, and lovers. There lives and attitudes changed his political leanings, instilling in the Marxist considerable disdain for capitalism.
Life after the army took him to the Chelsea School of Art from where he mastered his craft before finally embarking on his journey as a painter. Even though he taught at St. Mary’s teacher training college and his works were exhibited in galleries, John Berger wasn’t necessarily successful. Some people knew of him. But most of the public had no idea who he was.
All that changed when a journal called the New Statesman hired him and he became their most controversial critic, often singing the praises of obscure artists whilst also attacking the giants of the industry.
He was married three times. His relationships produced three children.
John Berger Awards
Berger’s collection of accolades includes the Booker Prize, Petrarca-Preis, James Tait Black Memorial Award, and the Golden PEN Award.
John Berger Books into Movies
The author published a book called ‘Ways of Seeing’ as a companion to a BBC series (also called Ways of Seeing).
Best John Berger Books
Berger is considered to be one of the greatest thinkers of the 21st Century, with some of the best titles in his bibliography including:
Ways of Seeing: This is Berger’s most popular book. It attacks the traditional view of western cultural aesthetics. Berger uses his extensive experience to reveal the meanings and agendas hidden within images. The ideas in his books have been adopted by feminist literature that attempts to interpret the representation of women in popular culture.
About Looking: This book from John Berger attempts to dissect and understand the role people play as observers. It explores the relationship between mankind and animals as it was in the past, what it became in the 21st Century, and what it says about the human condition.
When Does The Next John Berger book come out?
John Berger doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is What Time Is It? and was released on September, 24th 2019. It is the newest book in the John Berger Non-Fiction Books.