Someday all the Adults Will Die – Punk Graphics 1971-1984 at the Hayward Gallery

By Ben Miller | 20 September 2012
An image showing a black and white illustration of two punk women
The Japanese punk fanzine, Insane Whorehouse (from 1979), is one of the exhibits in the new show at the Hayward© Punk: An Aesthetic edited by Johan Kugelberg and Jon Savage, Rizzoli, 2012
Exhibition: Someday all the Adults Will Die – Punk Graphics 1971-1984, Hayward Gallery Project Space, London, until November 4 2012

“Get-up-and-get-on-with-it eyeball-pleasers” is how Johan Kugelberg, the co-curator of this overview of punk graphic design from way back, describes the splurge of homemade cassettes, fanzines, posters, handbills, recordings and clothing.

An image of a flyer showing the words so you thought punk was dead tough it ain't
A poster for the band Crass from 1978© Punk: An Aesthetic edited by Johan Kugelberg and Jon Savage, Rizzoli, 2012
Anarcho-punk artist Gee Vaucher and Sex Pistols illustrator Jamie Reid are among those adding to the hundreds of items, expressing a glimmer of the youthful rebellion and anti-authority verve of an era embedded in fashion and graphic design.

They include flyers for Joy Division gigs, adverts for a documentary about the Pistols, dusted-off 7” records, Black Flag prints and clothing dreamed up by Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren.

“If you don't like the culture you are spoon-fed, you can make your own,” says Kugelberg, who founded the hip-hop history and punk history archives at Cornell University, runs a New York Gallery and wrote the book The Velvet Underground: New York Art.

“It worked wonders at the end of the seventies, and all these jagged, chiaro-scuro urgent masterpieces of graphic design, executed by art school masters alongside anguished adolescents, continue to reverberate.”

  • Open 10am-6pm (8pm Thursday and Friday). Admission free. The accompanying book, Punk: An Aesthetic, is edited by Johan Kugelberg and Jon Savage and published by Rizzoli. Find out more about the book.

More pictures:

An image showing a handwritten note full of expletives asking why something cost so much
© Punk: An Aesthetic edited by Johan Kugelberg and Jon Savage, Rizzoli, 2012
An image showing the words fuck you hippie spelt out in blocks of revolving letters
© Punk: An Aesthetic edited by Johan Kugelberg and Jon Savage, Rizzoli, 2012
An image showing an illustration of two political figures in red with words scrolling around them
© Punk: An Aesthetic edited by Johan Kugelberg and Jon Savage, Rizzoli, 2012
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