Own Art Form, Yet Beautiful Advertisment
33 1/3 Cover Art
Kunstraum Nestroyhof Wien, Austria 20170621-20171109
Music is not only for your ears. It is for your imagination when it creates pictures in your head. It is for your sense of touch when it vibrates through your whole body. And it is for your eyes, when it is live on stage, accompanied by a video or when you when you can see the record cover, in best case on the vinyl physically in your hand.
A Tribute to Design
The fascination for this kind of art was the topic of an exhibition at the Kunstraum Nestroyhof. Art Director Christine Janicek and photographer and music journalist Arne Reimer brought a wonderful collection together on two floors, to show the diversity and unlimited possibilities of how you can present records in an appealing way.
With their 250 samples they managed to give an amazing overview of the history and variable styles that have been developed since the very first record on disc was dropped and presented to a wide audience. Still of course the collection is subjective, as is this report. But it hopefully shows, that everyone can find examples that attract oneself in this great exhibition.
Photography, Graphic and Material in Decades
On the first floor they start with the beginning of the design history ranging from Jazz to Rock’n’Roll. Photography was a very important part of the design, also in later releases of e.g. Simon and Garfunkel (“Bookends” 1968), or Bob Dylan (“Nashville Skyline” 1969). About the same time, maestros like Andy Warhol created his legendary artwork for “The Velvet Underground & Nico” (1967) with the yellow banana to peel off. An outstanding work is Ramases’ “Space Hymns” (1971 featuring members of 10CC), a six-fold cover by Roger Dean. Fripp (Robert of King Crimson) & Eno put a special effort into their gatefold of “(No Pussyfooting)“, a apparently mirrored picture.
Coming to the Punk section, not only Patti Smith’s “Horses” is famous, but also the iconic “Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols” and of course The Clash’s “London Calling”. Remarkable is also XTC’s “Go 2”, which delivers a great explanation of what a record cover design is. A section of Austrian vinyls and more classics like Kraftwerk’s “Die Mensch-Maschine” ideally complement the exhibition.
As last personal highlight “No Remorse” (Motörhead 1984) in leather stands as example for different materials. Lucky thing that this exhibition was opened one month longer as planned, and for more details they published a book with the same name.