British artist Linder to present first London retrospective in 2025

British artist Linder to present first London retrospective in 2025
Linder, Untitled, 1979. © Linder Sterling.

The Hayward Gallery will present the first London retrospective of acclaimed British artist Linder from 11 February to 5 May 2025. This solo exhibition will offer an illuminating overview of the past 50 years of this iconic artist’s career, exploring the full range of Linder’s thought-provoking work, and underscoring the experimental and feminist impulses of her practice.

This exhibition will display a selection of Linder’s trailblazing photomontages as well as previously unseen works and new commissions. Linder first gained prominence in the late 1970s, emerging as a prominent figure within the dynamic landscapes of punk and post-punk music. While she made significant contributions across various artistic media, she gained widespread recognition for her groundbreaking album covers for the punk band Buzzcocks and the album covers of Linder’s post-punk band Ludus.

British artist Linder to present first London retrospective in 2025
Linder, Untitled, 1977. © Linder Sterling

Linder’s distinct style is characterised by ingeniously blending mundane or everyday imagery sourced from fashion and lifestyle magazines with provocative visuals from the realm of pornography. Linder’s photomontage on the cover of Buzzcocks’ single ‘Orgasm Addict’ in 1977, instantly became an iconic image of the punk scene.

Following her punk period, Linder went on to become an internationally recognised artist renowned for her multifaceted practice. Linder’s journey has been one of relentless exploration, venturing into realms as varied as fashion, music, performance, perfume, textiles, and film. At the heart of her explorations lies a profound engagement with the poetics of protest, where artistic inquiry intertwines seamlessly with cultural critique.

British artist Linder to present first London retrospective in 2025
Linder, Untitled, 1979. © Linder Sterling

Throughout her career, Linder has used photomontage as a potent instrument for dissecting and reshaping the portrayal and commercialisation of gender norms and sexual identity. Drawing from source materials extracted from magazines of the late twentieth century, she exposes the weighty stereotypes imposed on both ends of the gender spectrum: automobiles, DIY culture, and pornography for men; fashion and domesticity for women.

In addition to using found images from magazines, Linder has also used photographs of herself taking on various feminine personae such as ‘SheShe,’ from 1981 which are satirically staged. These photographs navigate concepts of personal invention and the performative dimensions of identity.

Linder says: “I’m thrilled to share a lifetime’s work at the Hayward Gallery. Its Brutalist
architecture is the perfect foil for the delicacy of the print ephemera I’ve worked with for over half a century. The cuts made by my blades and scissors are perpetually liberating. Each restores agency across print and page. The found images in my work are often quite fragile both materially and conceptually, it doesn’t take much then to hijack them and to take them somewhere far more surreal.”

British artist Linder to present first London retrospective in 2025
Linder at the Hayward Gallery. Photo Hazel Gaskin.
Outfit Ashish. Make-up Kristina Ralph Andrews.
Courtesy the artist and Hayward Gallery

Beyond the raw and abrasive energy of the DIY punk aesthetic, Linder’s artistic vision is informed by a rich tapestry of influences spanning religious art, surrealism, mysticism, and the ever-evolving landscape of social media. She often cites figures from art history such as Aubrey Beardsley, Ithell Colquhoun, Richard Hamilton, and Sister Corita Kent as key sources of inspiration.

Invoking the original essence of glamour— a captivating fusion of enchantment and magic – Linder deftly scrambles the grammar of glamour to deliver a feminist critique. Through her work, she effectively articulates feminist protest while audaciously challenging traditional cultural conventions.

A publication will accompany this exhibition and the show is also set to tour in 2025.

This exhibition is curated by Chief Curator, Rachel Thomas with Associate Curator, Gilly Fox, Assistant Curator Katie Guggenheim and Curatorial Assistant Charlotte Dos Santos

Linder first London retrospective opens at The Hayward Gallery from 11 February to 5 May 2025

©2024 The Hayward Gallery