The Success and Failure of Picasso

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Pantheon Books, 1989 - 220 pages
12 Reviews
At the height of his powers, Pablo Picasso was the artist as revolutionary, breaking through the niceties of form in order to mount a direct challenge to the values of his time. At the height of his fame, he was the artist as royalty: incalculably wealthy, universally idolized--and wholly isolated.In this stunning critical assessment, John Berger--one of this century's most insightful cultural historians--trains his penetrating gaze upon this most prodigious and enigmatic painter and on the Spanish landscape and very particular culture that shaped his life and work.

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Review: The Success and Failure of Picasso

User Review  - Melanie Faith - Goodreads

There is no doubt that this book is well-written and thoughtful. Yet, the prose is dense and sometimes felt like reading an extended term paper or thesis. Parts of this book were fascinating while ... Read full review

Review: The Success and Failure of Picasso

User Review  - Nick Ziegler - Goodreads

One of the most enjoyable reading experiences I've had in a while. Berger's erudition and analytic acumen are sharp and wide-ranging, but the book is presented more as the notes of a learned man than ... Read full review

Contents

Woman in a Red Armchair 1932 reproduced by courtesy
89
the Trustees of the Tate Gallery London
156
Nude 1933
158
Copyright

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About the author (1989)

John Berger was born in London in 1926. Berger was educated at St Edward's School, an independent school for boys in Oxford. Berger served in the British Army from 1944 to 1946; he then enrolled in the Chelsea School of Art and the Central School of Art in London. Berger began his career as a painter and exhibited work at a number of London galleries in the late 1940s. Berger became an art critic, publishing many essays and reviews in the New Statesman from 1948 - 1955. He titled an early collection of essays Permanent Red, in part as a statement of political commitment. In 1958 Berger published his first novel, A Painter of Our Time, which tells the story of the disappearance of Janos Lavin, a fictional exiled Hungarian painter, and his diary's discovery by an art critic friend called John. His novel G. won both the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Booker Prize in 1972. In the 1970s Berger collaborated with the Swiss director Alain Tanner on several films; he wrote or co-wrote La Salamandre (1971), The Middle of the World (1974) and Jonah who will be 25 in the year 2000 (1976). He is well known for his novels & stories as well as for his works of nonfiction, including several volumes of art criticism. His works include Hold Everything Dear, From A to X, Why Look at Animals?, Cataract (with Selšuk Demirel) and Bento's Sketchbook.

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