Exhibition, The Photographers’ Gallery, 8th April – 12th June 2022
For the Record: Photography & the Art of the Album Cover
Header image – Vinyl: Miles Davis, Tutu, Warner Bros Records – 1-25490, United States 1986. Photography: Irving Penn. Design: Eiko Ishioka.
When CDs began to nudge records off shop shelves in the 90s, something that was sadly missed by collectors was the opportunity to own cover artwork worthy of display and conversation. Singles were for fun but albums, with seemingly endless possibilities around double albums, gatefold sleeves, embossing and lyric sheets, held the potential to be serious pieces of art.
A new exhibition opening at The Photographers’ Gallery in London on Friday celebrates the album cover as an art form, curated and presented in collaboration with collector and exhibition originator, Antoine de Beaupré, whose extensive and impressive collection form the basis of the display.
Left – Vinyl: Led Zeppelin, Physical Graffiti, Swang Song – SSK 89400, England 1975. Photography: Elliott Erwitt. Design: AGI / Mike Doud / Peter Corriston.
Right – Vinyl: Prince, Lovesexy, Paisley Park – 9 25720-1, United States, 1988. Photography: Jean-Baptiste Mondino. Design: Laura LiPuma.
Vinyl: Grace Jones, Island Life, Island Records – 207 472, France 1985. Photography: Jean-Paul Goude. Design: Greg Porto.
Showcasing the talent of photographers and artists including famous names such as David Bailey, Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, Helen Levitt and Cindy Sherman, the exhibition takes us on a journey through the changes to music and art through the years. There will be covers you recognise, maybe some you own, and certainly some that bring new stories to the table.
Left – Vinyl: Serge Gainsbourg, Love on the Beat, Philips – 822 849-1, France 1984. Photography: William Klein.
Right – Vinyl: Everything but the Girl, Before Today, Virgin – VST 1624, England 1997. Photography: Jürgen Teller. Design: Form / EBGT.
Details from the press release:
For the Record brings together over 200 album covers, highlighting the central role photography plays in defining artists and bands, and showcasing some of the most iconic album covers of our times. While many of the artistes on the covers will be instantly recognisable, the exhibition illuminates the often overlooked and multifaceted contributions of photographers and other visual artists to the identity of the ‘stars’ and the labels themselves.
For the Record: Photography & the Art of the Album Cover will be on display at The Photographers’ Gallery, London from 8th April until 12th June 2022.
The Photographers’ Gallery, 16 – 18 Ramillies Street, London W1F 7LW (nearest tube Oxford Circus)
Usual opening hours are as follows – please check the website for news, admission charges and concessions before visiting, tickets may be booked in advance:
Monday (& Bank Holidays): Closed
Tuesday – Wednesday: 10.00 – 18.00
Thursday – Friday (Lates): 10.00 – 20.00
Saturday: 10.00 – 18.00
Sunday: 11.00 – 18.00
All images and exhibition details are reproduced with permission from The Photographers’ Gallery.
Words excluding press release by Siobhan
6th April 2022