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Installation Images Press Release

Screening and live music: Friday, August 11, 8pm
Summer gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm

Ratio 3 is pleased to announce the seventh and final phase of our current exhibition, The Present Tense. On Saturday, July 15, The Present Tense transitions from a two-artist exhibition of works by Louise Bourgeois and R. Crumb to a new two-artist exhibition, featuring drawings and works on paper by Barry McGee alongside a survey of sketches, drawings, and multi-page comics from the last five decades by R. Crumb.

This final phase of The Present Tense features two artists whose careers and inimitable drawing styles were developed in San Francisco. While Crumb’s earliest comics and cartoons were created before his time in California, many of his most iconic characters and innovative projects are tied to the same city where McGee has worked and lived for his entire life. This intergenerational pairing seeks to represent a range of artistic output from each artist, varying from casually executed sketches on notebook pages and diner placemats, to elaborately rendered and cross-hatched multi-element masterpieces.

Both Crumb and McGee have an exquisite mastery of drawing; regardless of project or media, line is the foundation of both artists' practices. Both use recurring characters, whether as compositional elements, emotive shorthands, or as narrative actors. The Present Tense provides an opportunity to follow the influence of Crumb's ceaseless work on McGee's early aesthetic. By borrowing conventions from other creative fields and representing countercultural lifestyles in their work, both Crumb and McGee have expanded the visibility of contemporary art in popular culture and influenced generations of artists.

To celebrate the final iteration of The Present Tense, an exhibition which began in March of this year, Ratio 3 welcomes the public to attend an evening of live music organized by San Francisco-based artist Alicia McCarthy on Friday, August 11, at 8pm. The evening concludes with a screening of Terry Zwigoff’s 1994 documentary, Crumb. This event takes place at the gallery; admission is free.

Ratio 3 thanks Mitzi Pederson, Miriam Böhm, Ben Peterson, Zach Bruder, Louise Bourgeois, R. Crumb, and Barry McGee for their participation in The Present Tense. We are grateful to Cheim & Read, David Zwirner, Paul Morris, Rich Niles and Lenore Pereira for their guidance and contributions to the exhibition. Lastly, we want to thank Lawrence Rinder, Patricia Maloney, Kevin Killian, and Alicia McCarthy for their insights and energy.