An unprecedented collection of artists' record covers from the 1950s to today
Since the dawn of modernism, visual and music production have had a particularly intimate relationship. From Henri Matisse's Music (1910) and Hugo Ball's sound poem "Karawane" (1916) to Wassily Kandinsky's visual "chords," the 20th century saw ever more fertile exchange between sounds and shapes, marks and melodies, and different fields of composition and performance.
In this unique anthology of artists' record covers, we discover the rhythm of this particular cultural history. The book presents over 600 album and record covers given the artistic treatment from the 1950s through to today. Ordered by artist, the covers reveal how modern, postmodern, Pop Art, street art, and conceptual practice have all informed this collateral field of visual production and supported the mass distribution of music with defining imagery that swiftly and suggestively evokes an aural encounter.
Along the way, we find Jean-Michel Basquiat's urban hieroglyphs for his own Tartown record label, Banksy's stenciled graffiti for Blur, Damien Hirst's synecdoche skull for The Hours, and a skewered Salvador Dali butterfly on Jackie Gleason's Lonesome Echo. The covers are featured with succinct analyses and each with a fact sheet listing the artist, performer, album name, label, year of release, and information on the original artwork. Interviews with Tauba Auerbach, Shepard Fairey, Kim Gordon, Christian Marclay, Albert Oehlen, and Raymond Pettibon add personal accounts and insights on the collaborative relationship between artists and musicians.
Text in English, French, and German