Wednesday, December 21, 2016

More John Berger’s Philosophy of Life than Art Criticsm

John Berger was born in 1926. He is well known as both an artist and writer, particularly an art critic. This book is a collection of essays written over the past 60 years. They were not originally intended for a single volume, being published in a variety of venues.

Instead of the historical discussion of landscapes I was expecting, the book presents the landscape of Berger’s thoughts. He does discuss art. One of my favorite essays was on Cubism, but he also discusses writers who influenced him, and politics, among other things. The political essays have a definite left slant because Berger was a Marxist. If you find that offensive, those essays can be skipped. The rest of the book is well worth reading.

I enjoyed the book. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but I was fascinated by the way Berger sees the world. I particularly liked his admonition to trust your own instincts when it comes to art. You don’t have to follow the dictates of the critics.

I recommend this book if you want an adventure in seeing the world through the eyes of a story teller and artist.

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.