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R. Crumb on His Career-Spanning Show at David Zwirner, Political Cartoons, and His Ukulele

The cartoons of Robert Crumb, aka R. Crumb, have ignored the lines between comics and fine art, so-called good taste and bad, and countless other binaries for more than half a century, his lurid, distinctive pen-and-ink style interpreting everything from the Book of Genesis to Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis to the likeness of Stormy Daniels. Through April 13, an exhibition at David Zwirner on West 19th Street in New York attempts to showcase the full breadth of his formidable career. Titled “Drawing for Print: Mind Fucks, Kultur Klashes, Pulp Fiction & Pulp Fact by the Illustrious R. Crumb,” it was curated by curator and critic Robert Storr. Beginning March 12, Zwirner will also present an online exhibition of pages from the artist’s sketchbooks of the ’60s, offering a rare glimpse into the development of some of his signature ideas and early characters, like Fritz the Cat and Mr. Natural. Now 75, Crumb spoke to ARTnews by email about political cartoons, his love for the ukulele, and his 1986 classic, Book of Filth. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity...

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