The Cologne Museum of Applied Arts (MAKK) is presenting for the first time a previously unpublished Cologne private collection, comprising almost all designed, conceived, and produced album covers by Andy Warhol, as well as numerous sketches and designs. In addition to films, audio samples, and corresponding works by Warhol, the exhibition documents the interplay of design,art and music.
Andy Warhol (1928-1987) continuously returned to working with the medium of the vinyl record throughout his entire professional career. As a graphic artist and fine artist, he worked in an interdisciplinary context including jazz, classical music, pop, punk, new wave and also radio coverage for the most important music labels and internationally renowned musicians and bands: the legendary and, at the time, shocking Sticky Fingers album for the Rolling Stones or covers for Diana Ross, John Lennon, Paul Anka, Miguel Bosé and the NBC Symphony Orchestra, for example.
Using drawings, photographs, collages, and idiosyncratic calligraphic and three-dimensional elements, Warhol formed the aesthetics of contemporary record cover design. Concurrently, the covers, created over a period of around 40 years and often published in large editions, do not only impressively document Warhol’s development both as a graphic artist and fine artist, but also his pop philosophy and the concept of serial imagery that was so definitive for his work.
His design for The Velvet Underground & Nico album has even achieved cult status. The debut album of the experimental Velvet Underground rock band featuring the singer Nico was produced by Warhol and released in March 1967. The album’s cover, also designed by Warhol, features a banana in the form of a sticker that can be peeled off according to the slogan “peel slowly and see” to reveal the pink fruit.
2018 marks what would have been Warhol’s 90th birthday and will also tie in with what would have been Nico’s 80th birthday and the 30th anniversary of her death. Born and raised in Cologne, music and fashion icon Nico was one of Warhol’s muses and a member of his 'factory', who also appeared in many of his films, for example in The Chelsea Girls. In the exhibition, photographs and film scenes will showcase Nico, on the opening weekend (30.8.-2.9.2018) concerts will take place in cooperation with the music festival c/o pop as a tribute to the singer Nico.