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Art of Modern Rock: The Poster Explosion

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Authoritative, eye-popping, and massive, Art of Modern Rock is the first and last word on contemporary concert posters. An art form that has grown hand-in-hand with the independent music scene, heralding small and large gigs alike, the posters have emerged from visually creative street-level notices to prized collectibles rendered in a variety of styles and media. Today's poster artists combine the expressive freedom pioneered in the poster revolution of the 1960s with the attitude and the do-it-yourself approach of the punk scene, creating an unprecedented surge of innovative poster production on an international scale. Featuring over 1,600 exemplary rock posters and flyers from over 200 international studios and artists, Art of Modern Rock is the long-anticipated sequel to coauthor Paul Grushkin's The Art of Rock . Profiles and quotes from the pioneers in the field and their emerging heirs share nearly 500 gloriously packed pages of poster after mind-blowing poster. As brash and colorful as the burgeoning scene it documents, Art of Modern Rock is the must-have book for music and poster fans and collectors.

492 pages, Hardcover

First published November 4, 2004

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About the author

Paul Grushkin

15 books3 followers
Paul Grushkin is the author and co-author of four best-selling rock & roll histories, collectively selling over one million copies.

Grushkin’s books include:

ROCKIN’ DOWN THE HIGHWAY: The Cars and Stars that Made Rock Roll
Voyageur Press/MBI Publishing (October, 2006)

ART OF MODERN ROCK: The Poster Explosion
co-authored with Dennis King
Chronicle Books (2004)

co-authored with Joel Selvin
Rare Air (2000)

THE ART OF ROCK: Posters from Presley to Punk
Abbeville Press (1987)

co-authored with Cynthia Bassett and Jonas Grushkin
Wm. Morrow (1983)

Grushkin is a graduate of Stanford University (1974).

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5 stars
657 (50%)
4 stars
302 (23%)
3 stars
215 (16%)
2 stars
65 (5%)
1 star
54 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 26 of 26 reviews
Profile Image for Johnny Di Donna.
54 reviews23 followers
March 5, 2012
Biased review, as I'm one of the artists in this book. The first book, The Art of Rock, was my Bible when I was a kid, & introduced me to artists who'd become personal heroes of my career; Stanley Mouse, Shawn Kerri, & Rick Griffin. I'd stay up all night getting baked & stealing all I could from that book. A group of poster artists came together in Philly for a monster poster show called Artifacts of the Improbable, including live music at the Trocadero. I heard that author Grushkin was going to be there & was stoked, I just wanted to say thank you for the first book. Little did I know he'd interview me & include me in the publication. For me, it as like being asked to be the 13th apostle.

The book is stellar, over 400 artists from around the planet, (& before this book, who knew there were poster artists in Transylvania?) creating some of the best art on the planet for every band that ever payed music. The book design is inspired, with themed chapter that breaks down the styles & genres. You'll need hours to make it through,...

My copy is signed & marked by at least 30 of these artists, who are close personal friends. Nyah nyah!!

Also check out the companion books by co author Dennis King. The Poster girls book in particular includes more of my work, including two posters on the back cover. Yes, I'm geeking out. You would too if you were in this one! ;)
Profile Image for Kanako Okiron.
Author 1 book13 followers
June 16, 2022
Tooooooo longgggg but I loved it so it was fine. My dad owned a Coop poster (Soundgarden and You Am I), and I remember staring at it for hours as a kid trying to figure out what on earth “Goldilocks was a Fink” meant. I couldn’t tell whether the “oo” in Coop were eyes or not, it used to freak me out.
Just makes you realise that there are so many bands with amazing posters, and accept that there will be bands you’ll never listen to in your lifetime.
It made me realise how much I want to be a poster artist but I’m just not that good, so a little bit of envy there but if there are any bands reading this, listen up: I’d love to make your posters!!!!
June 20, 2018
Narrates the story of one of the most original and amazing genres in music; rock n' roll. It's very descriptive about dates, people and concerts. A very underrated book.
14 reviews
September 28, 2018
Narrates the story of one of the most original and amazing genres in music; rock n' roll. It's very descriptive about dates, people and concerts. A very underrated book.
Profile Image for John.
1,665 reviews32 followers
April 16, 2021
A feast for the eyes. A hell of a coffee table book.
June 22, 2013
I absolutely love this book! Yeah, there's technically not much to "read," but who cares? It's packed with some of the most eye-catching imagery you'll ever see, and that's exactly the point. It's probably the most worn coffee table book I own. The dust cover on it was already torn and tattered when I found the book in the store from all the previous customers who obviously couldn't resist it either. I didn't even care, because the book was still in good shape, and I had to have it all to myself! Definitely the most perused of all of my art books, and I have a lot of them, being a graphic designer myself. Simply put: pure unadulterated eye candy worth its weight in gold (and it's a HEAVY book).
Profile Image for Lorraine.
46 reviews3 followers
November 7, 2010
I borrowed this book to use in my uni work, and I loved it. Not a book full of textual reading as the majority was imagery, but the text parts provided some lovely insights into the designers works and the techniques/genres on show. The images are stunning and I was spoilt for choice for material to use. I couldn't put the book down once I'd started reading as I was constantly scanning the pages in appreciation of the poster designs. Brilliant collection.
Profile Image for P.M. Bradshaw.
162 reviews12 followers
March 18, 2012
If you're a fan of poster art, this is the book for you!

Nearly 500 pages of nearly every band you can think of, from Green Day to Electric Frankenstein. Beautiful large coffee-table book, with big, beautiful, color graphics.

If you're a fan of this form or art, you'll find more than one page you'll consider framing.
Profile Image for Bob.
295 reviews
August 6, 2008
Huge coffeetable book. Wasn't as balanced as I thought I'd be. Think it focuses on posters created in the late 90's early 00's; much more recent poster art is vastly diverse. Nice glossy reprints, though.
Profile Image for Rishi.
23 reviews3 followers
September 8, 2008
whenever i start a new design project i flip through this thing first - for inspiration
Profile Image for Peter.
40 reviews19 followers
December 24, 2008
the sweetest part of this book was coming across a poster from a show I was at in athens years ago.
Profile Image for Anna.
3 reviews3 followers
April 30, 2009
I love this book! Some of my friends were in this book. This was really the first book that melded together the second wave of screenprinting and gigposters.
Profile Image for Bobby Dixon.
13 reviews2 followers
May 30, 2013
Biased as I'm one of the artists in the book, but it's comprehensive and full of gigposter goodness.
Profile Image for joke.
30 reviews
June 9, 2016
i love this book because is very very good for that moments when you are boring
Profile Image for Katharine.
12 reviews6 followers
October 29, 2008
An amazing resource for inspiration. Visually stunning; full of great images.
Profile Image for Steve.
84 reviews
January 17, 2019
One of my favourite books to look at time and time again. Love the style
Displaying 1 - 26 of 26 reviews

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