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Book Review: Panic Attack! Art in the Punk Years, Edited by Mark Sladen and Ariella Yedgar

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The punk movement was best known for its music and, to a lesser extent, the fashion. But the 1970s and early 1980s gave birth to a thriving punk art movement. Painting, photography, film, and performance art were all major mediums in the movement, and all well represented in Panic Attack! Art In the Punk Years.

Edited by Mark Sladen and Ariella Yedgar, Panic Attack! is a beautiful hardbound volume featuring some of the most influential punk artists of the era. Well-known artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and Robert Mapplethorpe are represented here, as are lesser-known artists such as Andrew Logan, Barbara Kruger, and Adrian Piper. Interspersed throughout the book are insightful essays by David Bussel, Andrew Wilson, Ariella Yedgar, and Rosetta Brooks, to name a few.

Unlike many art books, this volume includes all the information you could want, both for your own edification, and for its reference pieces – though the pages are too slick and crisp to be banished to a dark corner of a library. It is fully indexed and includes artists' biographies, a chronology of important events, and information on the artwork.

With its well laid-out pages, beautiful binding, heavy, glossy pages, and bold, beautiful representations of the artwork, Panic Attack! is a book you will be proud to keep on your coffee table. Enough art for even the stodgiest art lovers to enjoy, but enough edgy, and thoroughly punk pieces to make them a little nervous.

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