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Celebrate the art of the covers with Taschen’s chart-topping anthology


rom Andy Warhol to Damien Hirst, Barbara Kruger and Salvador Dali this tome, Taschen’s new book Art Record Covers brings together 500 record sleeve masterpieces designed by artists from the 1950s to the present day. Ever 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 Rotoreliefs, the 20th century saw ever more fertile exchange between sounds and shapes, marks and melodies, and different fields of composition and performance.

In Francesco Spampinato’s unique anthology of artists’ record covers for Taschen the rhythm of this particular cultural history comes forward in full bloom.

Featuring 500 covers and records by visual artists from the 1950s through to today, Art Record Covers 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.

Metahaven – Holly Herndon, Platform, 4AD/RVNGT INTL. 2015


Tauba Auerbach – The Alps, Easy Action, Mexican Summer 2011


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 symbolic 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. Interviews with Tauba Auerbach, Shepard Fairey, Kim Gordon, Christian Marclay, Albert Oehlen, and Raymond Pettibon add personal accounts on the collaborative relationship between artists and musicians.

This tome of “multimedia” beauty is carefully written by Francesco Spampinato, a writer and historian of contemporary art and visual culture currently doing his PhD at the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris. Spampinato lectures on art, design, and media and was also Adjunct Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory, and Performance Art at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, U.S., from 2011 to 2015 –the year he authored Come Together: The Rise of Cooperative Art and Design (Princeton Architectural Press) and Can You Hear Me? Music Labels by Visual Artists (Onomatopee).

Edited by Julius Wiedemann who studied graphic design and marketing and was an art editor for newspapers and design magazines in Tokyo before joining TASCHEN in 2001 this anthology of Art Covers is the perfect gift for this year’s Record Store Day, the annual event inaugurated in 2007 and held on one Saturday every April to "celebrate the culture of the independently owned record store".

From Chris Cunningham’s Aphex Twin collaboration through Futura 2000’s art for DK Krush, to Barbara Kruger’s authentic work for Consolidated and Andy Warhol’s iconic partnership with The Velvet Underground and Nico for Verve Records back 1967, one of the most influential rock albums and iconic record covers of all time, this is a chart topping anthology.

Buy your own copy here

Chicks on Speed – Chicks on Speed, 99¢, Chicks on Speed Records 2003


Chris Cunningham – Aphex Twin, Windowlicker, Warp 1999


Futura 2000 – DK Krush, Holonic ‘The Self Megamix’, Mo’ wax 1998


Luigi Ghirri – CCCP – Fedeli alla Linea, Epica Etica Etnica Pathos, Virgin 1990


Marcel Dzama – Marcel Dzama, Une Danse Des Buffons, The Believer 2014


Chris Johanson – Tussle, Eye Contact, Troubleman Unlimited 2002

Albert Oehlen – The Red Crayola, 4 Teen, Drag City 1994