The DART Board: 03.13.2019

By Peggy Roalf   Wednesday March 13, 2019

R. Crumb: Mr. Natural and Drawings from the 1960s 

"I lived out my youth on paper, basically. I am a bookmaker. I see blank books, I want to fill them—notebooks, sketchbooks, blank pages.... I had ideas for comic strips that I had sketched down."— R. Crumb in conversation with Ted Widmer in The Paris Review, 2010

A search for the source of R. Crumb’s most famous work leads back to the artist’s early drawings. Made during the 1960s in ink or pencil on notebook paper, they offer unparalleled insight into the thoughts, ideas, and obsessions that continue to populate his mature work. 

A number of these sketches originate in what Crumb has called a "crazy visionary period," in which many of his signature commentaries and characters—among them Mr. Natural, the bearded guru-cum-charlatan seen here in selected series from the 1990s—came into being. While often created spontaneously, the pageant of figures and narratives found here is already sophisticated; sometimes signed and dated, these drawings convey a world of intention and energy at the heart of Crumb’s practice.

"Above all," Alfred M. Fischer writes in Yeah, But Is It Art: R. Crumb Drawings and Comics, 2004, "he practiced what he preached: not follow any specific direction, not ride any specific idea to death, that is to say, when necessary, just break loose and let ideas leading to new things develop by easy and frivolous playing around across the pages of a sketchbook."

This Viewing Room is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Drawing for Print: Mind Fucks, Kultur Klashes, Pulp Fiction & Pulp Fact by the Illustrious R. Crumb, on view through April 13, 2019 at 519 West 19th Street New York.


Talks / Book Events / Art Fairs / and Beyond

Wednesday, March 13-Saturday, March 23
Asian Art Week New York | 10thAnniversary edition, 48 international art dealers at numerous locations. Info

Asia Week New York is a collaboration of top-tier Asian art specialists, major auction houses, and world-renowned museums and Asian cultural institutions in the metropolitan New York area. The Asia Week New York draws collectors and curators from every corner of the United States and an international clientele from across the globe, affirming the importance of Asian art in the citywide—and nationwide—cultural scene.

Events at 16 participating museums and institutionsInfo

Events at participating auction housesInfo

Contemporary art highlights:
Wang Huaiqing, renowned for his large-scale abstract oil paintings of deconstructed Chinese furniture, has recently created several limited series of etchings, and the latest will make their debut at M. Sutherland Fine Art. 7 East 74thStreet, 3rdFloor

For its exhibition Reimagined: Contemporary Artists Take On “A Tale
of Genji,” 
Seizan Gallery New York commissioned 10 emerging
practitioners of traditional Japanese art to create a painting in the
standard Japanese painting size (33.3 by 53cm) on the subject of Tale of
. 521 West 26thStreet, Basement B

Day of Osutaka Mountain (1986) is bamboo artist Yako Hodo’s
personal response and memorial to the victims of Japan Airlines Flight
123, which crashed on Osutaka Ridge on August 12, 1985, the worst
single-aircraft accident in history. Included in Japanese Bamboo Art, atTAI Modern/Colnaghi, 38 East 70th Street, NY, NY 

Planning ahead: Thursday, March 21
Closing reception | Art and Conversation, 6:30-8:30 pm, also presenting 60 works of art in Faith And Empire, Art and Politics in Tibetan BuddhismRubin Museum of Art, 150 West 17th Street, NY, NY Info

Asia Week at Sotheby’s includes showings and auctions of Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art; Junkunc: Arts of Ancient China; and five additional collections. 

Saturday, March 16, 4:30 pm: Colin Mackenzie, Curator of Chinese Art at The Art Institute of Chicago will speak on the subject: Warring States or Western Han: When Did Crucial Innovations In Jade Carving Happen? 
Sotheby’s, 1334 York Avenue, NY, NY Info

Wednesday, March 13

Talia Chetrit | Showcaller (MACK 2019).Dashwood Books, 33 Bond Street, NY, NY Info

Thursday, March 14

JD Hollingsworth | The Work, book launch, 7-9 pm. Participant, Inc., 253 Houston Street, NY, NY

Friday, March 15

Karole Armitage and Kyle Marshall on Career Longevity, 6:30 pm. Mana Contemporary Theater, 888 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ. Info


Valerio Spada, Mondello, this week at Benrubi Gallery

In Galleries / Lens-based Art

Thursday, March 14

Mentors | SVA BFA Photography and Video Student Work, an exhibition of work by the program's students inspired by their working relationships with leading members of the New York arts community. SVA Chelsea Gallery, 601 West 26th Street, NY, NY Info

Valerio Spada | I Am Nothing, 6-8 pm. Benrubi Gallery, 521 West 26th Street, NY, NY Info

Saturday, March 16

Ray K. Metzker | Masterworks; ReCOLLECTION | Pivotal works by gallery artists; and 35thAnniversary Reception, 2-5 pm. Laurence Miller Gallery, 521 West 26thStreet, NY, NY Info

Saturday, March 16

Four | Felipe Baeza, Julia Bland, Arghavan Khosravi and Oren Pinhassi, 6-8pm. Yossi Milo Gallery, 245 Tenth Avenue, NY, NY Info

From Fauna of Mirrors, this week at LIU. Top: Kathleen Vance, Tamara Kostianovsky, Samuelle Green, Lina Puerta. Bottom: Christina Massey, Lina Puerta, Charlotte Becket, Jessica Lagunas

In Galleries


R. Crumb | Mr. Natural and Drawings from the 1960s. David Zwirner, 525 West 19thStreet, NY, NY Info

Wednesday, March 13

Merrill Wagner | Works from the ‘80s, 6-8 pm. Zürcher Gallery, 33 Bleecker Street, NY, NY Info

Contained Memory, 6-8 pm. SVA Flatiron Gallery, 133/141 West 21stStreet, NY, NY Info

James Brooks | Painting: Prefer to Know, 1950-1958. Van Doren Waxter, 23 East 73rdStreet, NY, NY Info

Thursday, March 14
Fauna of Mirrors | Charlotte Becket, Samuelle Green, Tamara Kostianovsky, Jessica Lagunas, Christina Massey, Lina Puerta, Kathleen Vance, 6-8 pm. Humanities Gallery LIU Brooklyn (Flatbush/DeKalb Av) Info