Instrumental in the formation of the underground comics scene in San Francisco during the 1960s and 1970s, Crumb has ruptured and expanded the boundaries of the graphic arts, redefining comics and cartoons as countercultural art forms. Presenting a slice of Crumb’s unique universe, this book features a wide array of printed matter culled from the artist’s five-decade career—tear sheets of drawings and comics taken directly from the publications where the works first appeared, comic book covers, broadsides from the 1960s and 1970s, and tabloids from Haight-Ashbury, Oakland, the Lower East Side, and other counterculture enclaves, as well as exhibition ephemera. Complementing this volume are historical works from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that have inspired Crumb and pages from his rarely seen sketchbooks from the 1970s and 1980s that reveal his exemplary skill as a draftsman.
Documenting the critically acclaimed exhibition Drawing for Print: Mind Fucks, Kultur Klashes, Pulp Fiction & Pulp Fact by the Illustrious R. Crumb at David Zwirner, New York, in 2019, curated by Robert Storr, this publication offers an opportunity to immerse oneself in Crumb’s singular mind. In the accompanying text, Storr explores the challenging nature of some of Crumb’s work and the importance of artists who take on the status quo.
Born in Philadelphia in 1943, R. Crumb has used the popular medium of the comic book to address the absurdity of social conventions, political disillusionment, irony, racial and gender stereotypes, sexual fantasies, and fetishes. Inspired by Thomas Nast, Honoré Daumier, T.S. Sullivant, and James Gillray, amongst others, his drawings offer a satirical critique of modern consumer culture and seem to possess an outsider’s perspective—a self-conscious stance, which Crumb often relates to his personal life.
Robert Storr is an American artist, critic, and educator who was a curator, and then senior curator, of The Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Painting and Sculpture from 1990 to 2002 and from 2005 to 2007. He served as the first American-born director of the Venice Biennale. From 2002 to 2006, he was the Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and then dean of the Yale School of Art from 2006 to 2016, where he remains as a professor of painting and printmaking. The exhibition he organized at David Zwirner in 2013 to celebrate the centenary of Ad Reinhardt was voted “Best Show in a Commercial Space in New York” by the US Art Critics Association.
Crumb’s World will be available February 23, 2021