The Easel

Why Look at Art When You Could Watch TV?

John Berger had a bit of talent as a painter, quite a lot as a writer. Television, then new, offered him a way to combine these to tell art’s powerful stories. His landmark show, Ways of Seeing, “originally and humbly planned as a late-night polemic, lit the fuse for the meteoric rise of cultural studies in the academy and the now taken-for-granted politicization of visual culture.”