In growing older and perhaps more tolerant, I find R. Crumb's artwork to be accomplished and intriguing as opposed the reaction of shock or revulsion his graphic cartoons provoked in me during the 1970's. The exhibition running through September 19th at the Portland Art Musuem features hand drawn panels from Crumb's new Book of Genesis. The artwork is unmistakably Crumb's but restrains itself from the obvious salaciousness he may have employed in the past.
Many chapters of the fifty produced for his graphic novel are on display, illustrating the first book of the bible with faithful word by word text. My step-daughter commented that was the only way she would be interested in reading this text, giving us the impetus for some very interesting conversation afterwards.
Congratulations to the Portland Art Museum for bringing us a show that is less blockbuster, more accessible and a bit edgy.