In London, its pioneers were styled by Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, the latter having picked up a thing or two from the bands and clubs of New York. However, there was more to the era than the music, the graphics and the clothes. A stream of art that rose in the 1970s and early 80s drew on the same rebellious themes; do-it-yourself, appropriation and urban decay, in particular critiquing the mass media machine and taking up gender politics.
The exhibition Panic Attack! Art in the Punk Years, showing until September 9 2007, reviews the works of some key players from this time, taking in Jamie Reid’s ubiquitous Sex Pistols artwork to the graffiti of Keith Haring in the early 1980s. It’s presented in the 30th anniversary year of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, which marked a pinnacle of the punk years (defined by the curators as 1974-1984) as the Sex Pistol’s released their seditious version of God Save the Queen.
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