Ways of Seeing

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British Broadcasting Corporation, 1972 - ART - 166 pages
"Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak. "But there is also another sense in which seeing comes before words. It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world; we explain that world with words, but word can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it. The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled." John Berger's Ways of Seeing is one of the most stimulating and the most influential books on art in any language. First published in 1972, it was based on the BBC television series about which the (London) Sunday Times critic commented: "This is an eye-opener in more ways than one: by concentrating on how we look at paintings . . . he will almost certainly change the way you look at pictures." By now he has. "Berger has the ability to cut right through the mystification of the professional art critics . . . He is a liberator of images: and once we have allowed the paintings to work on us directly, we are in a much better position to make a meaningful evaluation" -Peter Fuller, Arts Review "The influence of the series and the book . . . was enormous . . . It opened up for general attention to areas of cultural study that are now commonplace" -Geoff Dyer in Ways of Telling

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rnmdfrd - www.librarything.com

So clearly and succinctly written, even with its unique insights. I love how John Berger writes just as much as how he sees art. I will definitely continue to read more of his work. Read full review

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User Review  - the.ken.petersen - LibraryThing

I imagine, that when this book was originally published, and even more so when the BBC showed the television series, that this was pretty controversial. Berger does not fawn over the merits of the ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
7
Section 2
17
Section 3
28
Copyright

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About the author (1972)

John Peter Berger was born in London, England on November 5, 1926. After serving in the British Army from 1944 to 1946, he enrolled in the Chelsea School of Art. He began his career as a painter and exhibited work at a number of London galleries in the late 1940s. He then worked as an art critic for The New Statesman for a decade. He wrote fiction and nonfiction including several volumes of art criticism. His novels include A Painter of Our Time, From A to X, and G., which won both the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Booker Prize in 1972. His other works include an essay collection entitled Permanent Red, Into Their Labors, and a book and television series entitled Ways of Seeing. In the 1970s, he collaborated with the director Alain Tanner on three films. He wrote or co-wrote La Salamandre, The Middle of the World, and Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000. He died on January 1, 2017 at the age of 90.

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