Exhibition Detail

Installation photo: PD Rearick

Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die: Punk Graphics, 1976-1986

June 16, 2018 - October 7, 2018
Main, North, and Larson Galleries

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Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die: Punk Graphics, 1976-1986
, explores the unique visual language of the punk movement from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s through hundreds of its most memorable graphics–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 color 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.

Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die, 1976-1986, is organized by Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by Andrew Blauvelt, Director, and Steffi Duarte, Jeanne and Ralph Graham Collections Fellow, with the generous assistance of Andrew Krivine. The project is generously supported by the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation.