PRINT May 2007

Panic Attack! Art in the Punk Years

Curated by Mark Sladen and Ariella Yedgar

Following the stage-setting exhibition “The Secret Public: The Last Days of the British Underground 1978–1988,” organized by the Kunstverein Munich last year, London’s Barbican Art Gallery weighs in with “Panic Attack!,” a consideration of tensions—both real and imagined—that existed between punk and the more rarefied world of contemporary art. Whereas the Munich show focused mainly on London-centric activities, “Panic Attack!”—featuring works from the mid-’70s to the mid-’80s—casts its net wider, to include cultural collisions in American art scenes during the punk (and postpunk) era. With more than 150 works in various media by around thirty artists, including Nan Goldin, David Wojnarowicz, and even sculptor Tony Cragg, this exhibition should provide a further reevaluation of one of art’s more elusive and abrasive moments.

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