From my review of “R. Crumb’s Underground” at MassArt:
Robert Crumb is one of the greatest artists ever. It’s as simple as that.
Even if the art world doesn’t know what to make of his crazy comics filled with drug-induced hallucinations, sadistic sex, racial stereotypes, and cute, carelessly violent cartoon critters that are always on the prowl.
For proof, check out “R. Crumb’s Underground,” which, put together by the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, opened Feb. 2 at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
The curator is Todd Hignite, a comics scholar and the founding editor of Comic Art magazine. “From the late ’60s through the ’80s,” he astutely notes in the exhibit wall text, “the art world engineered a wholesale extraction of direct human content, mining generations of abstraction, conceptualism, and theory until blood no longer ran from those stones. In the midst of this end game, Crumb rose as a beacon for the missing human passions: individuality, rebellion, and life.”
Read the rest here.
“R. Crumb’s Underground,” Paine Gallery, MassArt, 621 Huntington Ave., Boston, Feb. 2 to March 7, 2009.
Pictured from top to bottom: Robert Crumb, “Unknown Detroit Bluesman,” 1970, Unpublished album cover, Ink on paper, Photo: Tom Griggs; “R. Crumb Presents R. Crumb,” Zap #7, 1974, Ink on paper , Photo: Matthew Pelletier; “Zap #1,” 1967, Unpublished cover, Ink on paper, Photo: Matthew Pelletier; “Spoolmen” by R. Crumb, 2006—2007, 30 Wooden spools and display case, Photo: Tom Griggs; “Snatch #2, AllStars,” Unpublished cover, 1968, Ink on paper, Photo: Tom Griggs;“Kozmic Komix,” 1967, Ink on paper, Photo: Matthew Pelletier; “Untitled (Janis Joplin),” c. early 1970s, Acid blotter, Photo: Matthew Pelletier; “American Greetings holiday card,” 1965, Ink and watercolor on paper, Photo: Tom Griggs; “Burned Out,” East Village Other Cover, February 11, 1970, Ink on paper, Photo: Tom Griggs; “Avenue D,” 1966/67, Offset print, Photo: Tom Griggs. All courtesy of Eric F. Sack except “Spoolmen,” which is courtesy of David Teich.