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?