On Our Shelves Now
Read one of these dessert-sized essays each night after dinner and go to bed a little wiser than you were the night before, a little more alive to the radical possibilities of seeing.— Sam
A lifetime's encounter with artists: from prehistoric cave painting to the present John Berger, one of the world's most celebrated art writers, takes us through centuries of drawing and painting, revealing his lifelong fascination with a diverse cast of artists. In Portraits, Berger grounds the artists in their historical milieu in revolutionary ways, whether enlarging on the prehistoric paintings of the Chauvet caves or Cy Twombly's linguistic and pictorial play. In penetrating and singular prose, Berger presents entirely new ways of thinking about artists both canonized and obscure, from Rembrandt to Henry Moore, Jackson Pollock to Picasso. Throughout, Berger maintains the essential connection between politics, art and the wider study of culture. The result is an illuminating walk through many centuries of visual culture, from one of the contemporary world's most incisive critical voices.
About the Author
Storyteller, novelist, essayist, screenwriter, dramatist and critic, John Berger (1926-2017) was one of the most internationally influential writers of the last fifty years. His many books include Ways of Seeing; the fiction trilogy Into Their Labours; Here Is Where We Meet; the Booker Prize-winning novel G; Hold Everything Dear; the Man Booker-longlisted From A to X; and A Seventh Man. Tom Overton catalogued John Berger's archive at the British Library as part of an Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award with King's College London, and edited this book as a Henry Moore Institute Research Fellow and a Fellow of the Centre for Life-Writing Research at KCL. He has curated exhibitions at King's Cultural Institute, Somerset House and the Whitechapel Gallery, and his writing has been published by the New Statesman, Apollo, White Review, Various Small Fires, Tate, the British Council and others. He is working on Berger's biography and a book on migration and archives.