The Art of the Matter
On September 13, Richard Hamilton passed away.
His name probably doesn't ring any sort of a bell, gong or chimes for Americans of the millennial generation (outside of university art history departments) - but it probably should. The UK newspaper The Guardian, in an obituary, called Hamilton, "the most influential British artist of the 20th century."
Hamilton was the original badass of 20th century art. He practically began the colossal Pop Art movement, which took visual art for an unprecedented spin, whether traditionalists and art snobs liked it or not. Other notable contributors to this glossy, shinny and (for lack of a better word) poppy art movement are Andy Warhol and Roy Liechtenstein.
Mr. Hamilton loaned his talents to the music industry as well, most notably with the stark, eye-catching and alarmingly white The Bealtes (The White Album) cover design. Bands of every genre have been borrowing from and attempting to replicate his Zen minimalism ever since.
In honor of Mr. Hamilton and the oft-overlooked genre of album cover art, I thought I'd rattle off a few of my favorites:
Deja Entendu - Brand New
Born To Run - Bruce Springsteen
Viva La Vida (or Death and All His Friends) - Coldplay
On An Island - David Gilmour
Electric Arguments - The Fireman
All Things Must Pass - George Harrison
The Hissing of Summer Lawns - Joni Mitchell
Aqualung - Jethro Tull
Back to the Egg - Paul McCartney & Wings
The Seeds of Love - Tears for Fears
Abraxas - Santana
Opera Sauvage - Vangelis
Quadrophenia - The Who
Fragile - Yes