Storm Thorgerson – Computers Have A Lot To Answer For

September 7 — November 2

Public Works Gallery
1539 N Damen Ave, 
Chicago, IL 60622

Friday, September 7, 2012 – 7:00-10:00pm 

Gallery Hours
Tuesday – Friday, 2:00-5:00pm
Saturday, 12:00-5:00pm 

Computers Have A Lot To Answer For is a 40-year retrospective of Storm Thorgerson’s photographic prints. As one of the founders of the design studio Hipgnosis, and as the “6th member of Pink Floyd”, Thorgerson’s reality-bending vision and maximalist style have produced many of the defining images of music culture and the 20th-century at large, including the covers for Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The MoonAnimals, and Wish You Were Here, as well as Led Zeppelin’s Houses of The Holy. Working without the aid of digital technology, his execution of elaborate sets, intricate image composition and complex photo montage is unparalleled. Computers have a lot to answer for, and the man they answer to is Storm Thorgerson.

Conceptually, Thorgerson’s images seem to be pulled from a dream, but his practice sits squarely in the physical realm. If his concept calls for a man on fire, a man is set on fire. If pigs have to fly, a 40-foot swine balloon is launched over London. And when Thorgerson decides that the lighting isn’t perfect for a shot that requires hauling 765 steel hospital beds onto a beach, he has the beds packed up and reinstalled the following day. His giant sculptures, unbelievable stunts and humorous juxtapositions lead to easy accusations of surrealist intentions, but Thorgerson sidesteps this classification. He instead explains each image as a solution to a complex problem set before him by the artist, the music, and the record label, rather than a non-sequitur. More than an artist, he’s a strategist and a production mastermind.

Since forming Hipgnosis in 1968, Thorgerson has completed over 300 album covers for Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Genesis, ELO, Peter Gabriel, Black Sabbath, Def Leppard, Paul McCartney, and more contemporarily, Phish, The Cranberries, Anthrax and Muse.


Sponsored by the AIGA Chicago.