John Berger (John Peter Berger) Biography
(1926– ), (John Peter Berger), Permanent Red: Essays in Seeing, The Success and Failure of Picasso
British novelist, artist, and art critic, born in Stoke Newington, London, educated at London's Central School of Art and Chelsea School of Art. Among his influential works as an art critic are Permanent Red: Essays in Seeing (1960), The Success and Failure of Picasso (1965), Art and Revolution: Ernst Neizvestny and the Role of the Artist in the U.S.S.R (1969), The Moment of Cubism and Other Essays (1969), and Ways of Seeing (1972), based on a BBC television series and celebrated for its iconoclasm about traditional notions of art. Open-ended rather than dogmatic, his art criticism is very much concerned with the pressures of social context and class relations on artistic form. Notably European in outlook, his novels include A Painter of Our Time (1958), about an artist affected by the Hungarian Revolution of 1956; The Foot of Clive (1962); Corker's Freedom (1964); and G (1972; Booker Prize), a highly experimental novel about a Don Juan in pre-First World War Trieste. His collaborations with photographer Jean Mohr include A Fortunate Man: The Story of a Country Doctor (1967), A Seventh Man: Migrant Workers in Europe (1975), and Another Way of Telling (1982), on the aesthetics of photography. His screenplays in collaboration with Swiss film director Alain Tanner consist of La Salamandre (1971), Le Milieu du Monde (1974), and Jonas (1976). Berger's years living and working in a small peasant community in the French Alps resulted in his fictional trilogy Into Their Labours (1992) which consists of Pig Earth (1979), Once in Europa (1987), which he described as ‘a collection of love stories set against the disappearance of “modernisation” of such village life’, and Lilac and Flag (1990). In his novel To The Wedding (1995) a family travels from different parts of Europe to converge at a wedding. Essays on art, aesthetics, and politics are collected in Keeping a Rendezvous (1992).
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