A fantastic new exhibition opened on 19 January at the iconic, highly colourful post-modernist Groninger Museum in Groningen in the northern Netherlands.
The Art of Hipgnosis is a celebration of the work of the art house-cum- design studio that played an integral part in my life back in the early 1970s and set me on my way to becoming an album cover designer.
Hipgnosis was formed by Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell, chums who grew up in Cambridge along with their friends Syd Barrett, Roger Waters and David Gilmour who were to become the nucleus of Pink Floyd.
In 1968 Pink Floyd asked Po and Storm to come up with a design for the cover of their second album, A Saucerful of Secrets, and from that one project followed countless commissions to design album art over the next fifteen years for a slew of bands and artistes including not only Pink Floyd but T.Rex, The Pretty Things, Black Sabbath, Paul McCartney and Wings, Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel, Bad Company, Al Stewart, ELO, AC/DC, Genesis, Todd Rundgren, Alan Parsons and a host of others.
I joined Hipgnosis as their in-house graphics man in February 1973. In that same month two landmark albums came out bearing covers created by Hipgnosis – Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon and Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy. I remember thinking at the time, hmm, I think I’m in the right place here!
The Art of Hipgnosis covers a vast amount of their work. Most of the colourful galleries focus on the various covers Hipgnosis created for Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney and Wings, 10cc and Peter Gabriel
The Art of the Album Cover is curated by Aubrey Powell
Co-curator and archivist: Paula Webb Stainton
Exhibition design by Peter Curzon
The Art of the Album Cover runs from 19 January to 14 May 2023
GRONINGER MUSEUM, Museumeiland 1, 9711 ME Groningen, Netherlands
Photographs by Paula Webb Stainton.