Monday, 1 February 2010

Allen Jones's 1960s Penguins

UPDATE: Well, this is embarrassing. These covers are not the work of Alan Aldridge (The Clockwork Orange sketch is the only work by him shown below).  They are in fact the work of Allen Jones, in collaboration with Penguin art director John Hamilton. This makes particular sense in the context of The Clockwork Orange, as it was Jones' sculptures of women turned into erotic furniture that inspired (in the sense that the film-makers nicked his ideas since they were unwilling to pay him) some of the set design of Kubrick's film of the book (see Alex's favourite moloko bar).

 

I apologise for the misleading information, which came from an early and now incorrect promotional website.


Sandwiched between the 1950s and the 1970s, here are the 1960s, Penguin Decades style. The artist and designer behind these five covers is Alan Aldridge (from whose work I did a big selection here), who did a huge number of covers for Penguin in the '60s and '70s, appropriately enough. The authors represented here are the great Beryl Bainbridge, David Lodge, Anthony Burgess, Margaret Drabble and Barry Hines.

 
  
  
  
  

These ought to pop out on the shelves like jars of sweets. I especially like the cover for A Clockwork Orange, which fits the book beautifully while getting away from the stylised portraits of Alex that are often used. Speaking of which, I found an earlier sketch for that cover, showing a direction Aldridge decided not to pursue.

I just have the 1980s books to display now, with covers by John Squire. I have tracked down three of the five covers, so I hope to post them soon.

11 comments:

straight from the den said...

like.

Matthew Adams said...

Yeah, these are fantastic, and I really like the A clockwork orange cover just for being different.

Hmmm, anyone feel like starting up an electronica covers band called clokwerx?

jem said...

I'm sorry to say I really don't like these at all. They would repel me if I saw them in a bookshop. They remind me of when kids are asked to design postage stamps!

Steerpike said...

I like a lot of Aldridge's work, but I can't say that I appreciate the style these are done in, and I certainly don't see how the cover of A Clockwork Orange (the only one of these books I've read) relates to the book's contents in any interesting and/or enlightening way. (I could be missing something, of course.) A real pity, as I was looking forward to these.

Bob Fingerman said...

These covers are great. I'll assume you have Aldridge's art book, The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes that came out last year. Great stuff. I actually had the posted he did for The Great American Disaster Restaurant when I was a kid. I was probably too young to have such a racy and aggressive poster (I think I was 9), but I saw it at a great semi-counterculture bookstore in Forest Hills, Queens (the late, lamented Marboro Books on Continental Avenue) and my aunt bought it for me.

Sigh. That store was the best. Introduced me to my first Molesworth book, the works of H.P. Lovecraft (the covers scared the crap out of me, but were so seductively twisted).

Oh, sorry. Went off on a tangent. Anyway, for years I wondered who did the poster and didn't have the answer until The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes came out. Even before I cracked the cover I had a frisson of premonition. I knew this was the guy who did that art, even though I hadn't seen the poster in decades. Wonderful artist.

JRSM said...

I don't have that book, but I must hunt it down. Your aunt sounds great! Disturbing as it might be, that poster would be great at that age--all that detail to be obsessed over and decoded.

Viva Molesworth! (resists temptation to write in his voice)

Bob Fingerman said...

My aunt was great. She supported anything to do with my interest in art (as did her sister, AKA my mom). I used to admire all the crazy goings on in that poster. It had everything a growing boy could want: distrust of authority, tits and hamburgers.

Bob Fingerman said...

Well, well. Credit where credit is due, then. Kudos to Mr. Jones.

JRSM said...

That doesn't change the fact that 'Distrust of Authority, Tits and Hamburgers' would be a great title for an autobiography.

Bob Fingerman said...

Agreed.

dreamchild said...

Beatles artist Alan Aldridge did a stunning magazine cover Deepak Chopra's MYMAG check it on the home page MYMAG.com