About Looking

Berger, John
Publisher:  Pantheon Books, New York, USA
Year Published:  1980  
Pages:  198pp   ISBN:  0-394-73907-8
Library of Congress Number:  N71.B398   Dewey:  701.15
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX6150

A collection of essays covering a wide range of topics from photographs and media, to zoos and forests, grouped around the theme of how people look at things.

Abstract:  John Berger is one of Britain's most influential art critics and a well-known novelist and film scriptwriter.
His book, About Looking, is a collection of essays written over a period of ten years and covering a wide range of topics from photographs and media, to zoos and forests. Each essay is about how people look at things, what particular people see when they look at something specific like immigrants looking at New York or peasants viewing fields, and how these perspectives are reflected in the works of artists. The book is partially illustrated and contains some very interesting observations on aspects of everyday life. The reader is told, for instance, that the manufacture of realistic animal toys began around the same time as the establishment of public zoos and that this was no coincidence. The first section, "Why Look at Animals?" looks at zoos and their significance in detail while the second section, titled "Uses of Photography," deals with the significance of certain photographers' work. The last and longest section, "Moments Lived," is mostly about painters including, but not limited to, Jean-Francois Millet, Seker Ahmet Pasa, Ralph Fasenella and Georges de La Tour. There are also essays on the sculptors Rodin and Romaine Lorquet.

[Abstract by Nabeeha Chaudhary]

Table of Contents

Why Looking At Animals?
Uses Of Photography
The Suit and the Photograph
Photographs of Agony
Paul Strand
Uses of Photography
Moments Lived
The Primitive and the Professional
Millet and the Peasant
Seker Ahmet and the Forest
Lowry and the Industrial North
Ralph Fasanella and the City
La Tour and Humanism
Francis Bacon and Walt Disney
Article of Faith
Between Two Colmars
Courbet and the Jura
Turner and the Barber's Shop
Rouault and the Suburbs of Paris
Magritte and the Impossible
Hals and Bankruptcy
Rodin and Sexual Domination
Romaine Lorquet

Subject Headings