Dezeen podcasts: in this latest in our series of podcasts for the Design Museum, illustrator Alan Aldridge gives a talk recounting stories from his career, which spans nearly 50 years. A retrospective exhibition of his work is on show at the museum until 25 January.
Involving characters from Princess Margaret to the The Beetles, the stories cover Aldridge's early experiences of illustration, his work with Penguin books, the Sunday Times and Apple records, and the making of children's book Butterfly Ball.
Exhibition photographs by Luke Hayes.
The following information is from the Design Museum:
Alan Aldridge - The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes
10 October 2008 – 25 January 2009
Alan Aldridge embodied the spirit of the 60s and 70s. His evocative, psychedelic images epitomised the feeling and art of an era. As The Beatles lead an unstoppable assault on the global charts, it was Aldridge’s designs and visual identity that defined The Beatles image and music in a changing world. Still busy creating today – he was responsible for the look of the House of Blues in Los Angeles, Aldridge is an artist, an illustrator, a graphic designer, art director and film maker. He masterminded the seminal art book The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics and designed Andy Warhol’s iconic Chelsea Girls film poster. As Art Director at Penguin, Aldridge produced ground-breaking covers.
Commissions for The Rolling Stones, Elton John and illustrations for the award-winning children’s book The Butterfly Ball and The Grasshoppers Feast will be included in the exhibition, the first complete retrospective of Aldridge’s work in the UK.
Born in London’s East End in 1943, Aldridge calls himself a ‘graphic entertainer’, his pioneering approach to graphic design fuses faux-naive images, bold colours, references to Art Nouveau and Surrealism with an unerring eye for an arresting image to produce an array of posters, album sleeves and picture books that appeal direct to the masses. Aldridge’s radical talent would define an era, as drabness was cast aside; new music and a new visual culture emerged.
Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum adds “Alan Aldridge is a remarkable talent: part Aubrey Beardsley, part rock star, responsible for some of the most memorable images of his time, the Design Museum is proud to present the first retrospective of Aldridge’s work in his home country.”
This exhibition will cover Aldridge’s career to date, from the early 60s when his whirling designs refreshed the somber tone of Penguin book covers, to his collaborations with The Beatles and their Apple record company, through to serving as creative director to the original Hard Rock Cafe. Commissions from Andy Warhol, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Elton John and The House of Blues will also be on display alongside photographs, sketch books and illustrations from his seminal children’s books.
Alan Aldridge in Conversation - 21 October
Alan Aldridge will be talking about his influences, motivation, and achievements. This is an opportunity to hear Alan talk about his career to date with reference to his icon designs for The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Hard Rock Cafe and Penguin Books amongst others. There will also be an opportunity to view the block buster retrospective Alan Aldridge - The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes before and after the talk.
The book ‘The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes’ By Alan Aldridge will be published by Thames & Hudson on 13 October 2008.
DESIGN MUSEUM, SHAD THAMES, LONDON SE1 2YD
TICKETS: Adults £8.50; Concessions £6.50;
Students £5.00; Under 12s free
OPENING: 10.00-17.45 Daily. Last Admission: 17.15
PUBLIC INFORMATION T: 0870 833 9955 W: designmuseum.org
ADVANCE BOOKING T: 020 7940 8783 W: ticketweb.co.uk