Words
Art Records Covers

In Art Records Covers a book from TASCHEN, art historian Francesco Spampinato shows just how far the practice has developed, highlighting 500 album covers designed by renowned visual artists, from the 1950s to today.

© TASCHEN

Since the dawn of modernism, visual and music production have had a particularly intimate relationship. From Luigi Russolo’s 1913 Futurist manifesto L’Arte dei Rumori (The Art of Noise) to Marcel Duchamp’s 1925 double-sided discs Rotereliefs, the 20th century saw ever more fertile exchange between sounds and shapes, marks and melodies, and different fields of composition and performance. 

The book explores how modernism, Pop Art, Conceptual Art, postmodernism, and various forms of contemporary art 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 Dalí butterfly on Jackie Gleason’s Lonesome Echo. There are insightful analyses and fact sheets alongside the covers listing the artist, performer, album name, label, year of release, and information on the original artwork.

One of the best examples of this aspect of Art as a way to communicate more directly, is Jeff Koon’s eye-catching cover of Lady Gaga transformed into a modern Venus, carefully covered by one of the artist’s signature gazing balls.

But one of the most “enduring images of ’60s rock ‘n’ roll is Andy Warhol‘s banana-sticker cover for “The Velvet Underground and Nico” where underneath the banana peel another pink banana is waiting to appear.

Francesco Spampinato  (Author), Julius Wiedemann (Editor)

Source: TASCHEN, AMAZON

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