19 3/4 x 28 3/8 inches
Wichita Art Museum, Gift of Abraham Tannenbaum
Not Currently on Display
About the Artwork
“The Street” marks a departure from Guston’s earlier work as a member of the Abstract Expressionists. Guston was interested in art as a vehicle for political expression, and for him, the rigidity of abstraction left little room for such visual narrative. As a young man, Guston, who was Jewish, had several traumatic experiences involving the Ku Klux Klan. “The Street” was created the same year he introduced cartoon- like hooded figures in his paintings, gallivanting around sparse cityscapes in humorously undersized jeeps. Here, a pile of bodies, recognizable by shoe soles and the odd head or arm, is attacked by a menacing gloved fist holding a nightstick. “The Street” offers a comment on social rebellion and racial inequality.