Opening on May 11, 2007, David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of drawings by American artist R. Crumb, who lives and works in the south of France. Crumb's work is currently the focus of a solo exhibition entitled R. Crumb's Underground at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, CA. He has had oneperson exhibitions at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2005) and the Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Germany (2004). His numerous group exhibitions include La Famille d’Artistes: Exposition Crumb, Le Musée de Serignan, Serignan, France (2007); Masters of American Comics, The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; The Jewish Museum, New York, NY; and Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI); Contemporary Erotic Drawing, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT; Experiencing Duration, Lyon Biennial of Contemporary Art, Lyon, France (all 2005); Beautiful Losers, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA and additional venues; Disparities and Deformations: Our Grotesque, SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM; and 2004 Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA (all 2004), among others. This will be R. Crumb's first exhibition at David Zwirner and will include figurative works from as early as 1972 and as recent as 2006.
R. Crumb emerged in the late 1960s as the leading figure in underground illustration, with drawings that are a sometimes caustic combination of 1930s comic strip style and post-Vietnam counterculture themes. Although he did not align himself with "hippie" ideologies–in fact, he has consistently disowned the connection–Crumb is the movement's reluctant poster child. Inspired by Thomas Nast, Honoré Daumier, T.S. Sullivant, James Gillray and others, his 40-year career is marked by an astonishingly prolific work ethic (he draws constantly and compulsively) and rigorous experimentation in a wide variety of media. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he contributed to countless underground comics, including Zap Comix, Weirdo, and Arcade. In addition to a brief foray into painting in the 1980s, Crumb, entirely self-taught, has produced LPs, CDs, and sculptures. Best known for his works on paper, he is widely regarded as one of the most skillful portrait artists alive.