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Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible Ocula Report Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible 17 Apr 2019 : Federica Bueti for Ocula

I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...

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Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui Ocula Conversation Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui

The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...

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The National 2019: New Australian Art Ocula Report The National 2019: New Australian Art 13 Apr 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...

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R. Crumb

b. 1943, USA

Cartoonist Robert (‘R’) Crumb has an erotic fixation on powerful women, often displayed in the throes of exercise. ‘I was born weird’, he told The Guardian in April 2016. However, his drawing oeuvre extends far beyond renderings of strong women in the midst of a tennis match. His satirical work is legendary for its political wit, irony, incisive view of social conventions, raunchy style, disillusionment regarding consumer culture and use of racial and gender stereotypes.

Crumb’s interest in cartoons arose when he was a child and would produce handmade comics with his brother, Charles. In 1962, he left home for Cleveland, Ohio, and started working as a greeting card artist. He then spent some time in Europe. After returning to the US, Crumb jumped around states before settling in California, where he produced comics for the magazine Yarrowstalks. There his work was cherished by audiences, and as a result he produced the standalone comic book Zap. From this, Crumb’s status as a collectable and greatly admired comic book artist was born. 

Through Zap, Crumb produced many now-notorious characters and storylines. Zap grew to a point where other leading comic book artists also began to contribute. Eventually, Crumb became a leading figure in the ‘underground movement’ of comics alongside publications such as the New York newspaper East Village Other. He also developed books such as Fritz the Cat, which was later fashioned into a movie. 

In the early 1990s, Crumb moved with his family, including his wife Aline, to France, where he continues to live today. Aline Kominsky-Crumb is a prolific comic book artist herself and is known to often collaborate with her husband. 

What truly captures Crumb’s work and makes it resonate with so many is its perspective. Its viewpoint comes from that of an outsider and someone contemptuous of mainstream socio-politics. Though Crumb has been working in this mindset for decades, he remains extremely relevant to contemporary society. With his striking, detailed, fun and inviting black-and-white drawings, Crumb is unsurprisingly often described as one of America’s greatest cartoonists. 

Jessica Douglas | Ocula | 2017
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Featured Artworks

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Kafka for Beginners, Page 3 by R. Crumb contemporary artwork R. CrumbKafka for Beginners, Page 3, 1993 Ink and graphite on blue-lined Bristol board
12 1/2 x 9 inches
David Zwirner
Untitled by R. Crumb contemporary artwork R. CrumbUntitled, c. 1960s Graphite on notebook paper
8 3/8 x 6 5/8 inches
David Zwirner
Judy Seigal by R. Crumb contemporary artwork R. CrumbJudy Seigal, c. 1960s Ink on paper
10 1/8 x 7 5/8 inches
David Zwirner
Untitled (No No No Sandra's Playing Oklahoma No No) by R. Crumb contemporary artwork R. CrumbUntitled (No No No Sandra's Playing Oklahoma No No), c. 1962 Ink and graphite on notebook paper
8 3/8 x 6 3/4 inches
David Zwirner
Untitled (School Notebook 1961, pg. 3/4) by R. Crumb contemporary artwork R. CrumbUntitled (School Notebook 1961, pg. 3/4), 1961 Ink and graphite on paper
8 1/8 x 5 1/4 inches
David Zwirner
Untitled (You, Maxon's Birthday 28th March '62) by R. Crumb contemporary artwork R. CrumbUntitled (You, Maxon's Birthday 28th March '62), 1962 Ink and graphite on notebook paper
8 3/8 x 6 3/4 inches
David Zwirner
Untitled (Yuck) by R. Crumb contemporary artwork R. CrumbUntitled (Yuck), c. 1962 Graphite on notebook paper
8 3/8 x 6 3/4 inches
David Zwirner
Untitled (Help! from School Notebook 1961 pg. 49/50) by R. Crumb contemporary artwork R. CrumbUntitled (Help! from School Notebook 1961 pg. 49/50), c. 1962 Ink and graphite on paper
8 1/8 x 5 1/4 inches
David Zwirner

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, R. Crumb, Drawing for Print: Mind Fucks, Kultur Klashes, Pulp Fiction & Pulp Fact at David Zwirner, New York
Closed
21 February–13 April 2019 R. Crumb Drawing for Print: Mind Fucks, Kultur Klashes, Pulp Fiction & Pulp Fact David Zwirner, 19th Street, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, R. Crumb, Art and Beauty at David Zwirner, London
Closed
15 April–2 June 2016 R. Crumb Art and Beauty David Zwirner, London

Represented By

In Related Press

The Loving, Self-Deprecating Comics of Aline Kominsky-Crumb and Robert Crumb Related Press The Loving, Self-Deprecating Comics of Aline Kominsky-Crumb and Robert Crumb Hyperallergic : 10 February 2017

For an exhibition consisting primarily of black-and-white line drawings, Aline Kominsky-Crumb & R. Crumb: Drawn Together is surprisingly colorful. Including more than 30 framed works, in addition to over a dozen comics displayed in rows along the walls of David Zwirner gallery, the sheer volume of text and image can seem overwhelming. But the...

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What to See in New York Galleries This Week Related Press What to See in New York Galleries This Week The New York Times : 31 January 2017

ALINE KOMINSKY-CRUMB & R. CRUMBThrough Feb. 18. David Zwirner, 525 West 19th Street, Manhattan; 212-727-2070, davidzwirner.com.Cartoon art drawn for reproduction doesn’t gain much from being hung on a wall. It’s fun to spot the occasional daub of correcting fluid or try to unravel the mysteries of R. Crumb’s preternatural draftsmanship, but...

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The biggest art event Seattle has ever known just got bigger Related Press The biggest art event Seattle has ever known just got bigger The Stranger : 5 August 2016

Last year, even the birds showed up.Under the silent gaze of a few unticketed pigeons in the rafters of CenturyLink Field Event Center, 15,000 people swarmed the inaugural Seattle Art Fair, a network of 60 booths of paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos, and at least one virtual reality trip.

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