EARLY WORD: I Like Big Butts & I Cannot Lie


INQUIRER: [W]ith the opening on Friday of “R. Crumb’s Underground” at the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Philadelphia-born artist’s obsessions — collecting old-time blues and country 78s, riding piggy-back on powerfully built women, and forever depicting, as he has put it, “the seamy side of America’s subconscious” — will be on full display in the ICA gallery at the University of Pennsylvania through Dec. 7. The exhibition, which originated at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco in 2007, is the largest ever mounted in the United States on the 65-year-old Crumb, who created the 1960s counterculture icons Mr. Natural and Fritz the Cat and was the subject of Terry Zwigoff’s disturbing 1994 documentary film, Crumb. The show spans the career of the bespectacled artist, whose psychedelic satires were first published in the Philadelphia underground newspaper Yarrowstalks in 1967. Its 100-plus original comic drawings, placemat illustrations, and three-dimensional figures include the life-size ceramic 1995 Devil Girl, whose contorted torso will greet visitors to the ICA’s second floor galleries. MORE

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