Looking Beyond: Conversations between John Berger and John Christie
7 May – 27 November 2016
Works from the Sainsbury Collection are exhibited alongside letters and postcards exchanged between John Berger and John Christie in which they discuss their opinions of them.
Taking as its starting point a correspondence between the influential art historian and the filmmaker, the gallery – a 'favourite place' of Christie’s – invites visitors to rediscover key works from its collection as these men saw them.
For instance Amedeo Modigliani’s Caryatid, is accompanied by Berger's anecdote: 'When Modigliani wanted to paint somebody he wanted to strip them... He wanted them stripped down to their bare skin. Without disguise'.
Meanwhile Christie noted of Osip Zadkine’s The Accordion Player: ‘He seems to be lost in his own music.' to which Berger responded: 'The Zadkine makes me happy. He was a tiny man and he had a very Russian sense of music. What does that mean? For them the musical impulse [...] is choral. It unites people'.