I would add Chris Marker, the still little-known genius of documentary and what one might call ''films from my notebook.'' Or John Sassall, the fortunate man, that country doctor who went to live in the deep countryside and patiently served.
The doctor's grace was in healing, treatment and the tender handling of finality.
RESIST this if you can: '' He usually drew with a chalk -- either red or black.
They cut into every drawing, like slits in silk, to reveal the anatomy beneath the sheen.'' You can call that ''art criticism,'' if you choose, and there was a time of his life, in London, when John Berger was an art critic, doing his column for The New Statesman or New Society.
The choice is Geoff Dyer's, and he supplies a fond and very useful introduction. In 1972, Berger was at a dizzy height in London (and beyond).
He only added to his fame by responding to the Booker Prize (it was £5,000 then) with a proviso: that Booker fortune came from exploitation of the Caribbean, so half the money would go to the Black Panthers, and the other half to underwrite research on immigrant labor in Europe.The first of these, The Telling Distance, won the 1990 Western States Book Award and the 1991 Colorado Book Award.Berger will discuss and sign A Desert Harvest: New and Selected Essays (.00 Farrar, Straus and Giroux), a career-spanning collection of beautiful, subtle, and spiky essays on the American desert.John Berger is known for his trenchant criticism of what he saw as Moore’s overblown reputation in the 1950s and 1960s, but, as this essay explores, Berger respected Moore as a person and in the 1980s admired his later work.In 1988, two years after Henry Moore’s death, the art critic Peter Fuller ended his affiliation with and allegiance to his mentor John Berger with an essay for New Society titled ‘The Value of Art’. His studies of animals are full of the fluency of animal movement. His boats ride on the swell of the sea and the light glances along their hulls with the same undulating rhythm.He pursued the subject of immigration in a series of books ('' A Seventh Man,'' '' Into Their Labours,'' '' To the Wedding'').He found friendship with the Swiss filmmaker Alain Tanner (one of the least self-promoting film directors in the world) and did screenplays for him.I am talking about a period from the 1950's well into the 70's, when London was crowded with lively, learned voices on art (David Sylvester, Bryan Robertson, Lawrence Gowing, Andrew Forge).But Berger was different, even then, rather to the left of the others but enclosed in his shy, gentle intensity.