Kunstraum Nestroyhof

33⅓ – Cover Art

Katalog 33⅓ – Cover Art
Alle Fotos: Juan Maiquez

Due to great success, the exhibition is extended until November 9, 2017!


This year’s Kunstraum Nestroyhof summer exhibition puts the spotlight on the intersection of photography, fine arts and music: the record cover.

The sleeves for vinyl records, the essential popular music medium, have always been more than just a dust protector and bearer of information. The designs for many album liners have come from significant photographers, artists and designers; they have spawned fruitful connections between music and the visual arts. Robert Frank worked with the Rolling Stones, who also cooperated with Andy Warhol. Patti Smith was photographed by her friend Robert Mapplethorpe for not one, but several album covers. André Heller records feature works by the artists Christian Ludwig Attersee, Arnulf Rainer and Walter Pichler. Debbie Harry inspired Swiss painter HR Giger to design a legendary record sleeve. Many musicians, including Laurie Anderson, have designed their own covers. Others found inspiration in existing liners – like Frank Zappa with his take on the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

The Kunstraum Nestroyhof exhibition ‘331/3 – Cover Art’ casts a look at the history of the album sleeve with more than 350 selected exhibits. The covers on show graced the LPs of such diverse musicians as Sonny Rollins, The Clash, Bob Dylan, Grace Jones and U2, they feature works by photographers including Lee Friedlander and Annie Leibovitz, as well as designer groups like Hipgnosis and fine artists including Roger Dean and Bridget Riley. The renowned record companies Blue Note and ECM further merit particular attention: they have made a point of preserving a consistent, artistic design appearance for their album liners.

A wide range of artistic encounters has produced an output that congenially visualises the music and often illustrates the spirit of its age. Many of the record covers on show are now considered pieces of art and style icons. 

Curated by Christine Janicek and Arne Reimer.

>> photos of the opening

>> video of the opening