Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die: Punk Graphics, 1976–1986
by Jon Dowling·
‘Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die: Punk Graphics, 1976–1986’, is an exhibition currently taking place at Cranbrook Art Museum in Michigan. Exploring the unique visual language of the punk movement from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, it contains hundreds of memorable graphic flyers, posters, albums, promotions and zines.
Since its rebellious inception in the 1970s, punk has always exhibited very visual forms of expression, from the dress and hairstyles of its devotees and the on-stage theatrics of its musicians to the graphic design of its numerous forms of printed matter. As such, punk’s energy coalesced into a powerful subcultural phenomena that transcended music to affect other fields such as visual art and design.
Arranged thematically, the exhibition is the largest of its kind, and it explores various visual design strategies and techniques, such as appropriation, collage, parody and pastiche, as well as the influences of genres such as science fiction, horror and comics. It moves from the sobriety of a stripped down minimalism to the expansive colour palettes and expressive forms of new wave.
Examining punk through the lens of graphic design, created by both professional and amateur designers, the exhibition will also be punctuated with moments of fashion, contemporary visual art, archival images, videos and a participatory 'concert hall' where visitors can DJ their own vinyl playlist.
Until 7th October 2018
Cranbrook Art Museum
39221 Woodward Avenue
P.O. Box 801
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48303-0801