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Ways of Seeing (1972)

by John Berger

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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5,000602,215 (3.99)32
Contains seven essays. Three of them use only pictures. Examines the relationship between what we see and what we know.
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Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
Still marvelously important, and surprisingly - but rightly - angry. A joy. ( )
  therebelprince | Apr 21, 2024 |
Pretty great. Short and doesn't cover much but gives some interesting ideas to think about and what it does talk about (oil paintings, art as class indicators, treatment of women in art, advertising) it gives you a very good idea of. Gives a nice look at ideas surrounding cultural studies and even hints at stuff like semiotics. I also like his somewhat Marxist slant.

The photo essays are a bit confusing - partially it's because the pictures are small so you can't get a good idea of each picture and compare/think through similarities/differences. Like it's cool that they gave you a set of pictures with no words and yeah I pondered on them a bit but I'd have loved to see their opinions too because I'm a complete idiot and that's what I buy books for. I just don't feel they work so well. I felt sometimes that it used a few jargon words without any definition and although it's quite possible to guess what they mean it makes it a bit more off-putting as an introduction than it could be. It's not too bad though, so don't let it put you off reading it.

Ultimately the negatives are no big deal though. It's short and doesn't go into huge detail but that's the nature of an introduction. It has a great incisive style that cuts to the heart of what's going on pretty often. With the caveat mentioned above about the few jargon words, I recommend reading it. It's radical and will give you a lot of ideas. ( )
  tombomp | Oct 31, 2023 |
Forse l'ho letto un po' troppo in fretta, ma mi sembra una raccolta fin troppo eterogenea e non particolarmente ricca di contenuti interessanti. ( )
  d.v. | May 16, 2023 |
The general role of images; the sight of men over women; the social and economical usage of art; the role of advertisings. On each of this topics, a very simple and effective dissertation by a great thinker and divulger.
( )
  d.v. | May 16, 2023 |
Essential ( )
  Silenostar | Dec 7, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Bergerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Magritte, ReneCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Contains seven essays. Three of them use only pictures. Examines the relationship between what we see and what we know.

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John Berger's Ways of Seeing is one of the most stimulating and influential books on art in any language. First published in 1972, it was based on the BBC television series about which the Sunday Times critic commented: 'This is an eye-opener in more ways than one: by concentrating on how we look at paintings . . . he will almost certainly change the way you look at pictures.' By now he has.
(Penguin Books)
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