EUGENE ATGET AND BERENICE ABBOTT on view at the Ryerson Gallery (80 Spadina) through May 4. 416-703-2235. Rating: NNNN
david harris, who worked onthe AGO's current Atget show, assigned a parallel project to the students in his curation and preservation course at Ryerson's School of Image Arts. The result is Abbott After Atget, a museum-quality show that draws on Ryerson's own photographic archives and works from a private collection to demonstrate the impact of Atget's art on the mid-century American great.
Abbott After Atget includes five of Atget's vintage albumen silver prints; 20 prints made by Abbott from Atget's glass negatives; eight images of New York City shot by Abbott between 1935 and 1939, when she was funded by the famous Depression-era Federal Arts Project; three copies of the book on Atget that Abbott published in 1930, with the 97 plates that put Atget on the international map; and an Abbott portrait of Atget (there are two of these in the AGO show).
The transformation -- everything from the informative wall texts to the burgundy-painted walls -- of this unpretentious student gallery is impressive, and the selection of works on view does a superb job of proving the show's thesis.