August 19 – December 8, 2019
When punk first exploded as a counter-cultural movement in the mid-1970s, it seemed virtually indigestible. The music was loud, fast, angry, raw and often amateurish. The attitude was irreverent, uncompromising and confrontational. The fashions were outlandish and shocking—at times even deliberately offensive. The live performances were notoriously unpredictable and sometimes dangerous, blurring traditional lines between audience and artist.
Punk turned everyday life on its head. It attempted to retrieve those things rejected by mainstream society—the ‘outsider’, the most disposable forms of ‘low culture’, noise, nonsense, ugliness—and revalue them (hence the label ‘punk’, a derogatory slur embraced as a badge of honor). It encouraged people to make their own culture instead of just consuming what was made for them. And it unleashed a wave of creativity with its DIY ethos: ‘anybody can do it’.
This exhibit focuses on the visual aesthetics of punk, as manifested in various kinds of material culture: posters, concert flyers, LPs and 45s, zines, photos, buttons and other cultural effluvia. It includes many now-iconic images and captures a wide range of design strategies: cut and paste graphics, collage, détournement, agitprop, pastiche and comic illustrations. The images can be surreal, funny, disturbing and sometimes surprisingly beautiful. A wide range of graphic artists are represented as well, from the influential (e.g., Jamie Reid, Malcolm Garrett, Peter Saville) to the unknown.
The show is organized chronologically into four categories (clockwise): (1) protopunk (1966-76), (2) 1st wave punk (1975-79), (3) postpunk and new wave (1978-84), and (4) hardcore and anarchopunk (1980- 86). The work included in this exhibition has been generously loaned from the collection of Andrew Krivine and is presented in coordination with the Fall 2019 Bucknell course “Punk Rock Subcultures” (FOUN 098-45).
Peter S. Groff Department of Philosophy
The Samek Art Museum will launch the Fall 2019 semester with an opening reception in honor of our latest exhibition’s The Etching Revival: Its French Sources and American Legacy and Damaged Goods: The Punk Aesthetic. Join us Thursday, September 26 at 7 p.m. in the Campus Gallery, Elaine Langone Center, Top Floor. Then afterwards guest are encouraged to continue down to the restaurant Brasserie Louis, located at 101 Market St. where people can hear local punk bands, Pleasure Kills and Daisy Face at 9 p.m.