- Format: Hardcover
- ISBN: 978-1-5261-4789-9
- Pages: 240
- Price: £85.00
- Published Date: November 2022
As one of the people who defined punk's protest art in the 1970s and 1980s, Gee Vaucher (b. 1945) deserves to be much better-known. She produced confrontational album covers for the legendary anarchist band Crass and later went on to do the same for Northern indie legends the Charlatans, among others. More recently, her work was recognised the day after Donald Trump's 2016 election victory, when the front page of the Daily Mirror ran her 1989 painting Oh America, which shows the Statue of Liberty, head in hands. This is the first book to critically assess an extensive range of Vaucher's work. It examines her unique position connecting avant-garde art movements, counterculture, punk and even contemporary street art. While Vaucher rejects all 'isms', her work offers a unique take on the history of feminist art.
'Binns's book is meticulously researched and well written, covering an area of punk history that deserves a full spotlight all of its own. Equal parts informing, accessible and compelling, this is the story of a woman whose talent and beliefs have made a huge contribution to conveying punk's revolutionary message.'
Molly Tie, Punktuation!
'A compelling documentation of an important figure in the postwar British counterculture: the stubbornly unpositionable Gee Vaucher. Binns traces the life and work of this uncompromising artist not only in the short high years of Crass and the anarcho-punk movement - dominated by Vaucher's aesthetic - but also the decades before and after when she defined, refined and extended her powerful practice. Read this book for a brilliant and engaged creative life.'
George McKay, Professor in Media Studies, University of East Anglia
'This is a long overdue contribution to an important history. Binns shines new light on Gee Vaucher's significance, showing how her method of photorealism-presented-as-montage can help us make sense of the "skewed reality" around us.'
Lucy Robinson, Professor in Collaborative History, University of Sussex
'Gee Vaucher's artwork was crucial to Crass: thought-provoking and confrontational always.'
Adrian Sherwood, music producer
'Gee's indescribable artwork has been an inspiration for multiple generations of artists and art appreciators. Gee is proof that Art changes people's lives - and for the better!'
Winston Smith, artist and illustrator (www.winstonsmith.com)
'Binns's book is an expert feminist reading of the life and work of political graphic artist Gee Vaucher that adeptly writes this unsung heroine into a history of punk design. A must-read for these fractured times.'
Teal Triggs, Professor of Graphic Design, Royal College of Art
'An essential book, giving due attention to one of the most influential artists of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Gee Vaucher's artwork has been much copied but never bettered. Her influence is here captured expertly by Rebecca Binns's well-researched critical analysis.'
Matt Worley, Professor of Modern History, University of Reading
'Finally! What those in the know have been waiting for: a comprehensive, revealing and long overdue analysis of the creative importance of Gee Vaucher. Set against the backdrop of recent socio-economic, political and cultural events, via (but not limited to) punk, this book confirms Vaucher as the trailblazing innovator that she is, and charts her artistic influence to-date. Rebecca Binns thoughtfully surveys over fifty years of Vaucher's collage, photo-montage, painting, drawing, sculpture, film and installation, rightfully positioning her as a key player within art history, while refusing to restrict this uncategorisable artist to any particular movement. If you are familiar with Vaucher's work, you have been vindicated. And if you are not, prepare to be amazed.'
Marie-France Kittler, co-curator Gee Vaucher: Introspective (Firstsite, 2016)
1 The changing face of British arts, politics and culture during Vaucher's art school years
2 Radical art collectives and the free festivals movement
3 New York, political photomontage and the underground press
4 Towards the definition of a punk aesthetic
5 Crass art and the birth of anarcho-punk
6 Post-punk, hardcore, and the dissolution of the dream
7 Post Crass introspection: postmodernism and the anti-rationalist avant-garde
8 Beyond the art world: political agitation and public intervention in the new millennium
Rebecca Binns is a writer and lecturer on art, design and cultural history