Sympathy for the Devil

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Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967

Dominic Molon; With Diedrich Diederichsen, Anthony Elms, Dan Graham, Richard Hell, Mike Kelley, Bob Nickas, Simon Reynolds, and Jan Tumlir

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A fascinating history of the explosive convergence of avant-garde art and rock music

The dynamic relationship between rock music and visual art crosses continents, generations, and cultures. Beginning with Andy Warhol’s involvement with The Velvet Underground in 1967, artists have maintained a strong connection to rock. Artists such as Slater Bradley, Mike Kelley, and Raymond Pettibon have created album covers and music videos for rock bands, while rock musicians such as Bryan Ferry, John Lennon, and Peter Townsend have emerged from art schools, and punk and new wave bands such as Talking Heads and Sonic Youth have shared the same social and artistic milieu as artists including Robert Longo and Richard Prince.

Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967 looks at the intimate and inspired relationship between the visual arts and rock-and-roll culture, charting their intersection through works of art, album covers, music videos, and other materials. Organized regionally by cultural centers including London, New York, Los Angeles, and Cologne, the essays examine rock and roll’s style, celebrity, and identity politics in art; the experience, energy, and sense of devotion rock music inspires; and the dual role that many individuals play in both the sonic and visual realms. Presenting work that defies a more literal interpretation of the theme and instead suggests the style, energy, and attitude that has come to be associated with rock and roll, this fascinating volume is essential for admirers of contemporary art and culture.

Dominic Molon is the Pamela Alper Associate Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. He is coauthor of Wolfgang Tillmans (Yale).


Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (September 29, 2007 – January 26, 2008)

Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (May 31 – September 8, 2008)

Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (October 9, 2008 – January 11, 2009)

"This elegant, impressive book charts key moments of convergence between avant-garde art and music. . . . Those with an academic bent, an eye for the out-there and an ear for indie rock will find a veritable feast. . . . The crisp compositions by Thaddeus Strode, Jim Lambie and Mark Flores prove breathtaking. . . . Closing with a timeline and long list of discographies, bibliographies and exhibitions, this volume is a handsome look at the art-rock intersection."—Publishers Weekly

"[A] lavishly illustrated volume. These critical essays are matched with full color reproductions of artworks to show how avante-garde artists and rock bands have mutually inspired one another through the past forty years. . . . This is a gorgeous work that makes manifest the creative vitality that visual artists and musicians share."—Amy Benfer, Barnes&Noble Review
ISBN: 9780300134261
Publication Date: November 26, 2007
Publishing Partner: Published in association with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
288 pages, 10 x 12 1/2
50 b/w + 312 color illus.


Chaos to Couture

Andrew Bolton; With Richard Hell, John Lydon, and Jon Savag

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