The Art and Afterlife of Joy Division and New Order

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ince I’m unable to visit the True Faith exhibition running at Manchester Art Gallery, I am doing everything I can to experience it vicariously through the accounts of luckier folk. I discovered the music of Joy Division when I was sixteen, and found that it wasn’t just the songs that appealed to me, but the sparse beauty of Peter Saville‘s record sleeves. According to reports, the multimedia exhibition delivers a number of thrills, while offering a testament to the groups’ ongoing cultural legacy.

Closer by Joy Division, Factory album 1980. Art direction by Peter Saville, photography by Bernard Pierre Wolff, Designed by Peter Saville and Martyn Atkins
Closer by Joy Division, Factory album 1980. Art direction by Peter Saville, photography by Bernard Pierre Wolff, Designed by Peter Saville and Martyn Atkins

It’s Nice That has a good write up, and even secures a few choice words from Saville. Lucy Bourton writes:

“Peter Saville’s record collection is one of the immediate pieces on display at True Faith, a large retrospective of creative works inspired by the audible and visual language of Joy Division and New Order. The designer’s interpretation of these bands, the first to transform their sound to sleeve has become Manchester’s design heritage, arguably curating the world’s view of the city ever since. “Obviously I’ve known all this since the beginning, for the past 35 years. It’s not new to me, there is nothing here that is a revelation to me,” he says on the exhibition’s works. ‘The difference is the establishment’s conformation of it, the endorsement of it by having the show. That’s the difference.’

Source: It’s Nice That | “It’s pop culture that has educated this country”: Peter Saville on Manchester’s True Faith exhibition

Writing for The Guardian, Adrian Searle has given the exhibition a glowing five-star rating:

“This is an exhibition about more than the vicissitudes of a group of musicians and the artists, designers and film-makers who accrued around them. It is about the convergence of art and pop (if Joy Division were ever really ‘pop’), about growing up, and about the way culture gets made, how it changes and how it changes us.”

Source: True Faith review – the exhilarating art and afterlife of Joy Division and New Order | Art and design | The Guardian

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