From a naked Prince, to a praying Bjork, to Paul Simonon of The Clash smashing up his Fender Precision — over 200 iconic album covers are currently on show in central London.
For the Record: Photography & the Art of the Album Cover at The Photographers’ Gallery shines the spotlight on the contribution of photographers and designers towards defining the image of some of the best-known musical artists in the world.
Record collector and exhibition founder Antoine de Beaupré’s collection of over 15,000 albums is the basis for the display, which is, says the Oxford Circus gallery, “a love letter to the much-prized 30cm x 30cm square format that is the album cover”.
Many artists in the show are household names in their own right — think Andy Warhol, who designed the banana-ry cover for The Velvet Underground & Nico, or Irving Penn, one of the most renowned photographers of the 20th century — and photographer of Miles Davis’ Tutu album.
Sometimes, it’s a design agency that’s the star — like Hipgnosis, who conceived the surrealistic, utopian worlds for Pink Floyd cover art, such as the cow on Atom Heart Mother.
Divvied into a series of thematic-led ‘chapters’, For the Record also explores how some album art reflects social strife of the time, such as the startling documentary images by Jack Delano and Dorothea Lange used on albums on the Yazoo label in the 1960s.
For the Record: Photography & The Art of The Album Cover, The Photographers’ Gallery, £5, until 12 June 2022, £5.
Last Updated 06 May 2022