John Berger, Author of Ways of Seeing Passes Away at the age of 90

john berger Passes away

Art critic and author John Berger has died at the age of 90.

His best-known work was Ways of Seeing, a criticism of western cultural aesthetics, but he also won the Booker Prize for his novel G.

He donated half the prize money to the radical African-American movement, the Black Panthers.

His editor Tom Overton, who is writing Berger’s biography, said the writer “let us know that art would enrich our lives”.

Berger was born in Hackney, north London, and began his career as a painter.

Soon after his work was exhibited in the 1940s, he turned his hand to writing. His works ranged from poetry to screenplays, writings on photography, the exploitation of migrant workers and the Palestinian struggle for statehood.

John Berger’s 1972 programme Ways of Seeing changed the way many of us saw.

He argued that the advent of mass media fundamentally altered our perception of art.

The programme was to become iconic and highly influential but would not, he told me a couple of months ago, be made today.

He challenged convention, the establishment and us. He had the eye of artist, intellect of an academic, and charisma of a born performer.

He was though, above all, a writer and story teller. He enriched our lives with his novels, poetry and criticism.

He showed us how to see, not as individuals, but together.