March 20, 2010
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Bedford Street Gang

An interesting day spent at the Art Gallery of Ontario. It’s a big museum that’s taken an interesting gamble: many of its galleries are organized thematically rather than chronologically, so you can find contemporary painting next to Picasso and Rembrandt next to Lucian Freud.

Bedford Street Gang
Martin Lewis, Bedford Street Gang, Art Gallery of Ontario

This amazing etching is from a temporary exhibit of American Depression Etchings, one otherwise populated by more familiar images. Oh my: Buffy and Lyra, meet the kids from the neighborhood. (Notice, incidentally, how carefully the image walks right up to the line. Make the girl on the left just a little older, or just a little younger, and it’s too terrible. There’s a skinny girl in the gang, too, and she’s right in the foreground, and she isolates the heroine while giving us a chaperone. The corner store will shortly make its appearance in Hopper, who studied with Lewis.)

Also on tap today (besides lots of preparation for the Hypertext 2010 planning meeting): a trip to the Bata Shoe Museum. Yep: a three-story museum of the shoe. I now know a lot about shoe fashions in the Venetian Republic and on the Great Plains. I still don’t understand Manolo Blahnik.