The Unbearable Banishment: In the beginning God created R. Crumb

Saturday, April 3, 2010

In the beginning God created R. Crumb

I paid a visit to the David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea to view the original drawings from R. Crumb's latest book, The Book of Genesis Illustrated. All 50 chapters! It was a Friday and the gallery was gloriously empty. I love Crumb's work. It's so dense.

Each drawing, some 200+ pages, was arranged sequentially along the perimeter of the gallery as they appear in the book. You could see where Crumb made corrections to some of the drawings with white out. Did you know that in the world of collectors, the less white out used on an illustration, the more valuable it is?

Crumb played it straightforward with this book and didn't include any of his usual brilliant sarcastic wit and commentary. It's a studious interpretation that uses text directly quoted from the bible. In perusing the drawings, I couldn't help noticing how violent and erotic some of the bible stories are.

I asked the gallery attendant if the drawings were for sale. She told me that they can only sold as one lot. That's so silly! Who would have room to display all of these?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you could afford to buy them? you could probably afford to build them their own little gallery...

April 3, 2010 at 11:27 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

I definitely plan on seeing this. And you're right--he told it straight--also right, the bible is violent and dirty!

It is strange that they're selling them only in a body. They do look neat all stretched out like that though.

April 4, 2010 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Daisy: If I had that kind of scratch I'd pour it into rare books and build my own little library with big locks on the doors.

Leah: You'd better hurry. I think it's only up for a week or so. It's worth the trip into the city. 19th And 11th Ave.

April 4, 2010 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger savannah said...

i've of two minds regarding mr. crumb, but right now, it all escapes me...yes, i know, i could have kept that all to myself, but what can is ay, sometimes, it just all spills out on to the proverbial page, sugar! xoxoxox

April 4, 2010 at 2:47 PM  

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