Michael McNay at The Guardian:
The art critic, essayist and novelist John Berger threw down his challenge early in his television series Ways of Seeing. This came in 1972, the year when Berger, who has died aged 90, broke through to real fame from his niche celebrity on the arts pages of the New Statesman. Ways of Seeing, made on the cheap for the BBC as four half-hour programmes, was the first series of its kind since Civilisation (1969), 13 one-hour episodes for which Kenneth Clark, its writer and presenter, and a BBC production team had travelled 80,000 miles through 13 countries exploring 2,000 years of the visual culture of the western world. Berger travelled as far as the hut in Ealing where his programmes were filmed, and no farther. What he said in his characteristic tone of sweet reasonableness was:
“In his book on the nude, Kenneth Clark says that being naked is simply being without clothes. The nude, according to him, is a form of art. I would put it differently: to be naked is to be oneself; to be nude is to be seen naked by others and yet not recognised for oneself. A nude has to be seen as an object in order to be a nude.”
In other words, art is a commodity and a woman in art is an object. No approach to art could have been more different from Clark’s gentlemanly urbanity.