THE GREAT ADVENTURE OF ALBUM COVER PHOTOGRAPHY
A history of photography through the prism of the vinyl record. These two media, which left their mark on the 20th century, interplayed in all their forms, from artwork to illustration, figuration to experimentation. The show is based on this diversity of intentions and propositions. The first two images published on an album cover— an artsy vision of Broadway and a more figurative shot of a cowboy—already suggested that any thing was possible. The format—33 rpm, 45 rpm, a circle in a square—encapsulates almost the whole history of photography. Many photographers have left their mark on these 30x30 cm covers.
Photography has played a leading role in the history of recorded music. Looking at an album cover, you can almost hear what you see. Photographers illustrated many classics. Who hasn’t purchased a record based on its cover? The image of Abbey Road has come down through the past half-century just as surely as the Beatles’ music.
The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers record sleeve featured Andy Warhol’s famous crotch shot, but the world’s foremost photographers, including David Bailey, Hiro, Annie Leibovitz and Robert Franck, illustrated some of the group’s other album covers. Some photographers built a style; others built icons. Labels built visual identities where photography mattered more than anything else: Francis Wolff’s black and white photos for Blue Note, ECM’s shades of grey, the flashy colors of Hypnosis, etc. House productions foreshadowed a sound. Conversely, album covers featured many of the century’s symbolic, historic images: a portrait of Céline, the Great Depression seen through the eyes of the Farm Security Administration photographers,
May 1968, Black Power in the United States, etc. Every technique—from photojournalism to photomontage, photo booths, photos used for a purpose other than that for which they were intended, overexposed photos and photos within the photo— can be found in these 30x30 cm squares.
The deeper you dig, the vaster the subject seems.
Exhibition curators: Antoine de Beaupré,Serge Vincendet, and Sam Stourdzé.
With the complicity of Jacques Denis.
The section ‘Francis Wolff and Blue NoteRecords’ is produced by the Kyotographie Festival, with Michael Cuscuna (MosaicRecords) and Lucille Reyboz & Yusuke Nakanishi (Kyotographie) as exhibition curators.
Prints by Tokyo Color Kogeisha, for the Blue Note section.
Paul McCartney album covers photographed by Linda McCartney.
Curated by Paul and Mary McCartney and produced by Linda Enterprises Ltd,
London. Prints by Sean Mulcahyat MetroImaging, London.
Wallpapers by Central DUPON Images.
Framing by Plasticollage and Circad, Paris, and Europlast, Aubervilliers.
Publication: Total Records, la grande aventure des pochettesde disques photographiques, éditions 213,2015.
Texts: Jacques Denis.
Boz Scaggs, Middle Man, Columbia FC 36106, United States, 1980. Photography by Guy Bourdin. Courtesy of The Guy Bourdin Estate, 2015.
Manitas de Plata, Juerga, Philips 844 535 PY, France, 1963. Photography by Lucien Clergue. Courtesy of Clergue family.
ANTOINE DE BEAUPRÉ
Born 1971, Paris, France.Lives and works in Paris, France.
Antoine de Beaupré, who founded Galerie 213 in 1997, has worked extensively in the world of photography, beginning with a bookstore specialising in antique and contemporary photography. Later he founded Les Éditions213 and mounted exhibitions, the latestbeing Bernd und Hilla Becher PrintedMatter1964/2013. A 1996 graduate of the Berklee College of Music with a degree in composition, he has never lost his interestin music. He has been collecting vinyl records for nearly thirty years.
Born 1973, Paris, France.Lives and works in Arles and Paris, France.
Once a boarder at the Villa Medici, on 1 October 2014 Sam Stourdzé became director of the Rencontres d’Arles. Previously he was director of the Musée de l’Elyséein Lausanne and, from 2010 through 2014, editor in chief of ELSE magazine. For year she has studied the mechanisms at work in the circulation of images, with the relationships between photography, art, and film as his preferred field. He has been curator or co-curator of numerous exhibitions and published several works, includingLe Cliché-Verre de Corot à Man Ray; the Dorothea Lange and Tina Modotti retrospectives; Chaplin et les images; Fellini, la grande parade; and, most recently, Derrière le rideau: L’esthétique Photomaton and Paparazzi! Photographes, stars et artistes.
Born 1955, Béziers, France. Lives and works in Paris, France.
Serge Vincendet, who founded and has headed Monster Mélodies, a vintage record shop, for over 30 years, has written several authoritative works about music (Serge Gainsbourg, l’intégrale et cætera, 2005; Barbara, ombre et lumière, 2007; Le Cinémade Serge Gainsbourg, 2007, etc.). An acknowledged music expert, he has loaned out his collections for several exhibitions, including Gainsbourg 2008 at the Cité de la Musique in Paris. A producer, publisher, and record jacket designer as well, he has always been interested not only in the work of musicians, but also in developing their image and musical identity.
Portrait de Serge Vincendet : Sophie Goudier.