There’s no denying the impact and influence Joy Division and New Order have had on music, art and popular culture as a whole. Largely renowned as the pioneers of the post-punk movement in the late 1970s, Joy Division brought a whole new gloomy sound to a decade dominated by disco and punk; the Salford band paving the way for Madchester and late 20th century British music as a whole.
Sadly, Ian Curtis’s untimely death meant that Joy Division only released two albums, but the rest of the band carried on and became New Order – one of Britain’s most critically acclaimed and influential bands, famous for a sound that combined post-punk with electronic and dance music.
Now, Manchester Art Gallery celebrates the influence these two bands have had on the art and fashion world with its exhibition True Faith, curated by Matthew Higgs, Director of White Columns, New York and author and film-maker Jon Savage with archivist Johan Kugelberg. The exhibition spans four decades of works from Julian Schnabel, Jeremy Deller, Slater Bradley and more, as well as Peter Saville’s famous cover designs and Raf Simons’ AW03 collection inspired by the two bands.
True Faith also showcases some never-before-seen artefacts, including original handwritten lyrics and personal materials – together curating a unique exhibition that brings the many elements of these two iconic bands together.
True Faith will be at Manchester Art Gallery 30 June-September 3 2017. Visit the gallery’s website for more information.
Words by Angharad Jones