Landscapes: John Berger on Art
With Portraits, world-renowned art writer John Berger took us on a captivating journey through centuries of art, situating each artist in the proper political and historical contexts. In Landscapes, a narrative of Berger's own journey emerges. Through his penetrating engagement with the writers and artists who shaped his own thought, Walter Benjamin, Rosa Luxemburg and Bertolt Brecht among them, Landscapes allows us to understand how Berger came to his own way of seeing. As always, Berger pushes at the limits of art writing, demonstrating beautifully how his painter's eyes lead him to refer to himself only as a storyteller. A landscape is, to John Berger, like a portrait, an animating, liberating metaphor rather than a rigid definition. It's a term, too, that reminds us that there is more here than simply the backdrop or 'by-work' of a portrait. Landscapes offers a tour of the history of art, but not as you know it.
"John Berger teaches us how to think, how to feel how to stare at things until we see what we thought wasn't there. But above all, he teaches us how to love in the face of adversity. He is a master." - Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things "A volume whose breadth and depth bring it close to a definitive self-portrait of one of Britain's most original thinkers." - Financial Times "In this extraordinary new book, John Berger embarks on a process of re-discovery and re-figuring of history through the visual narratives given to us by portraiture. Berger's ability for storytelling is both incisive and intriguing. He is one of the greatest writers of our time." - Hans Ulrich Obrist, author of Ways of Curating "I admire and love John Berger's books ... Not since Lawrence has there been a writer who offers such attentiveness to the sensual world with responsiveness to the imperatives of conscience. He is a wonderful artist and thinker." - Susan Sontag "One of the most influential intellectuals of our time." - Sean O'Hagan, Observer "Berger is a writer one demands to know more about ... an intriguing and powerful mind and talent" - New York Times "Berger is a writer one demands to know more about ... an intriguing and powerful mind and talent" - New York Times "Shows the 88-year-old art critic at his bristling best" - Wall Street Journal "Berger is a masterful observer, a trait that lends his writing a profound element of artistry: these essays read like sketched studies of an as-yet-painted masterwork...these worldly essays are timeless, inspiring works of critical observation." - Kirkus Reviews
Storyteller, novelist, essayist, screenwriter, dramatist and critic, John Berger is 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-long-listed From A to X and A Seventh Man. Tom Overton catalogued John Berger's archive at the British Library. He has curated exhibitions at King's Cultural Institute, Somerset House and the Whitechapel Gallery, and his writing has been published by the LRB blog, New Statesman, Apollo, White Review, Various Small Fires, Tate, the British Council and others.