Art rebels

Skulls, Mohawks and piercings – alongside an irreverent finger aimed at authority – are some of the images associated with the Punk movement.

But in Beyond Punk, an exhibition opening at the Signal Gallery in London next month, Gaye Advert of The Adverts will explore the visual arts roots of many a former Punk agitator – and the visual sensibilities on show may surprise some. The exhibition will bring together work of former Punk musicians who, like Advert, had trained at art school before joining bands, with artists influenced by the movement.

’There is very little Punk imagery among the work, and there is a sense of drawing away from the archetypal style,’ says Advert. ’Some of the artists, such as Philip Barker, Shanne Bradley and Youth, have a more abstract painting style, while Dee Generate, Chris Brief and Knox tend to more figurative work.

While there have been many shows about the history of Punk, featuring memorabilia and fashion, none have drawn together so many disparate artists and styles, showing how the artists’ work has evolved, explains Advert. The exhibition will include paintings by Brief of his home town Truth or Consequences, New Mexico; a self-portrait by Knox from The Vibrators; paintings based on Pablo Picasso’s Woman in the Garden by Buzzcocks’ Philip Barker; and silkscreen prints on metal of Johnny Ramone, Debbie Harry and Iggy Pop by Shepard Fairey.

With the work all markedly individual, Advert hopes that visitors will learn ’that there is a life after Punk, that such a diversity of work has arisen from a common movement’.

Beyond Punk is on at Signal Gallery, 96a Curtain Road, London EC2, from 13-21 August

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