The Graphics of Punk focus on the wild variety of graphic art that emanated from an era of anti-establishment sentiment. The exhibition opens on the 4 October 2016 at the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising.
The dramatic music of the punk movement was spear-headed by the Sex Pistols who dominated this new sound. Their record sleeves packaged this radical noise, and the posters that promoted each new release forms a central point in this exhibit. A range of album covers such as God Save The Queen designed by Jamie Reid (1977) and posters such as Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle designed by M. Hirsh (1979) will be on show.The exhibit also includes the graphics of other groups who amplified this vibrant energy and antics, including The Clash, Buzzcocks and The Damned.
A number of key underground alternative magazines forms a part of the exhibition and gives insights into other ways which the graphics of punk were used at the time. The 1970s was a decade full of outrage and agitation. Both Oz magazine and IT (International Times) were prosecuted for obscenity in 1970, and were found guilty. Spare Rib took up the cause of women's liberation, political activists encouraged splinter groups, and the underground press supported causes such as immigration, abortion, squatters and the miners struggle. These radical campaigns draw a visual parallel between the political climate of the time and its punk graphics aesthetics.
The Graphics of Punk exhibition is placed in relation to the Museum’s permanent display. The significant impact and outrage the punk era caused can be explored by seeing it in context of the Museum’s historical narrative of graphics.
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