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R. Crumb Uncovered

Seen for the first time in the UK, selected originals by the underground comix maestro of Fritz the Cat, Mr Natural and more from the 1960s to 2001.

Robert Crumb, otherwise known as R. Crumb, is one of the leading figures of the 1966/67 hippy underground comic movement. Philadelphia-born Crumb exploded onto the scene in the late 60’s, heralding a renaissance of underground sex and drug comics. His LSD-inspired characters Fritz the Cat and Mr. Natural quickly established him as a counter-culture icon. Encouraged to create comic books as a child by his artistic brother Charles, Robert soon surpassed his sibling, and what was a form of escapism from a childhood spent in a dysfunctional family ruled by an abusive Father and neurotic Mother, translated into a lifelong career that has culminated, at the age of 66, in critical recognition for his work not just as a comic book creator, but an acutely observational fine artist in the vein of Guston or Goya. Crumb’s material is often inspired by the absurdity of humanity. Curator Brandon Coburn has selected the finest drawings from the Symbolic Collection of more than 300 pages of Robert Crumb drawings dating from the 1960’s to 2001 and will feature mainly pen and ink drawings, but also sketchbook pages, greeting cards, ink on acetate, and one very rare oil painting, in the vein of a cubist Picasso portrait. More…

“I had this big change in 1965 and 66 and it was visionary you know. I took this weird drug. Supposedly it was LSD but it had a really weird effect where it made my brain all fuzzy… I started getting these images of cartoon characters I’d never seen before, and drawing these stream of consciousness comic strips.”
Robert Crumb

“I think Crumb is the Bruegel of the last half of the 20th Century… he gives you that tremendous lusting, suffering, crazed humanity.”
Robert Hughes

“When I first met him he never talked, he just drew the whole time. The only voice he had was his pen.”
Aline Crumb

Tickets: Free
Where: Scream Gallery, 34 Bruton Street, London
When: November 13 to January 30, 2010

An illustrated exhibition catalogue is available from Scream Gallery for £5, which details all the original art for sale:

Mr. Natural “On The Road Again”, 9-page full story, 1970
Fritz the Cat in “Fritz The No-Good”,16-page full story, 1968
Mr. Natural and Flakey Foont in “A Bitchun’ Bod!” ... And Featuring
(Sort of) ‘Devil Girl’ “, 13-page full story, 1991
“The Life and Death of Fritz the Cat” Cover, 1993
“Mr. Natural”, unpublished illustration, 1986
“XYZ Comics” Cover, 1972
“HUP” #3 Cover and 8-page full story, “Story O’ My Life”, 1989
Karnal Komix Presents “What A World!”, Part Two, 4-page full story, 1972
Chuck and Bob in “Ups and Downs”, 4-page full story, 1969
Crumb’s Kafka, spread pages 140 and 141, 1993
“Jack Kerouac” Portrait, 1985
“The Green Aline”. Abstract Oil Painting on canvas, The R. Crumb
Coffee Table Book, 1997
Big Ass Comics #1 “Dale Steinberger, The Jewish Cowgirl”, 4-page full
story, 1969
“Motorcity Comics” Cover, c. 1970
“Art and Beauty”, illustration of Girl in Mirror, 1996
“Art and Beauty”, illustration of Sisters, 1994
“R. Crumb’s Note to Marty Pahls”, colour cover, 1959
“R. Crumb’s Note - Mercy! Mercy!”, colour cover, c. 1959
Mr. Snoidm Commercial Enamel Paint with brush on wood, 1972
Four Monster Greeting Cards, colour, 1966
“Love Comix” cover, unpublished, c. 1967
“Milking Crane” illustration, undated
“Comics From Other Planets Dept.”, 4-page full story, 1987
“White Man You Die”, sketchbook drawings, 1972
“Denver Doldrums”, sketchbook drawings, 1972
“Kitchen Kut-Outs”, two pages from Zap #1, 1967
“Big Ass Comics” #2, inside front cover comic, 1971


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