British art critic, producer and writer John Berger has passed away in his Paris home this week, at the age of 90. The creator of the popular television series and book, Ways of Seeing, Berger’s work examined both social and political contexts for art works in relation to their purely visual modes, making him one of the most visible intellectuals of British counter-culture during the 1970’s and onwards. Berger continued to write and experiment with varied forms of critique and fiction until his death.
Berger’s understanding of both the nature of art and the world around it remains a major impact on the world of writing and critique today. “Nothing in the nature around us is evil,” he once wrote. “This needs to be repeated since one of the human ways of talking oneself into inhuman acts is to cite the supposed cruelty of nature. The just-hatched cuckoo, still blind and featherless, has a special hollow like a dimple on its back,” he continued, “so that it can hump out of the nest, one by one, its companion fledglings.”