The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl

Tour Schedule

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University (originating venue)
September 2, 2010 - February 6, 2011

Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston
April 15 - September 5, 2011

Miami Art Museum
March 18 - June 10, 2012

Henry Art Gallery, Seattle
July 14 - October 7, 2012

Selected Press

The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl, organized by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, is the first museum exhibition to explore the culture of vinyl records within the history of contemporary art. Bringing together artists from around the world who have worked with records as their subject or medium, this groundbreaking exhibition examines the record's transformative power from the 1960s to the present.

Through sculpture, installation, drawing, painting, photography, sound work, video and performance, The Record combines contemporary art with outsider art, audio with visual, and fine art with popular culture.

The exhibition features 99 works by 41 artists, including rising stars in the contemporary art world (William Cordova, Robin Rhode, Dario Robleto), outsider artists (Mingering Mike), well-established artists (Jasper Johns, Ed Ruscha, Carrie Mae Weems) and artists whose work will be shown in a U.S. museum for the first time (Kevin Ei-ichi deForest, Jeroen Diepenmaat, Taiyo Kimura, Lyota Yagi).

Trevor SchoonmakerSince the heyday of vinyl, and through its decline and recent resurgence, a surprising number of artists have worked with vinyl records. The Record presents some of the best, rarest and most unexpected examples. The artists in the exhibition use the vinyl record as metaphor, archive, artifact, icon, portrait, or transcendent medium.

- Trevor Schoonmaker, Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher
Curator of Contemporary Art at the Nasher Museum

The Record includes a broad range of works, such as a hybrid violin and record player, Viophonograph, a seminal work by Laurie Anderson; David Byrne's original life-sized Polaroid photomontage used for the cover of the 1978 Talking Heads album More Songs About Buildings and Food; a monumental column of vinyl records by Cordova; and an important early work by Robleto, who transformed Billie Holiday records in an alchemic process to create hand-painted buttons. Works by Christian Marclay, who has made art with records for 30 years, include his early and rarely seen Recycled Records as well as his most recent record video, Looking for Love.

Two of the works on view at the ICA were commissioned specifically for the exhibition by The Nasher Museum. Berlin-based artist Satch Hoyt created a 16-foot canoe made of red 45-rpm records with an original soundscape during a 2009 artist residency at Duke. New York artist Xaviera Simmons created photographs of the North Carolina landscape and solicited musical responses from musicians such as Mac McCaughan of Superchunk, Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio and Jim James of My Morning Jacket. The original songs will be pressed onto a 12-inch record and played with her installation.


Artists in the exhibition include Laurie Anderson (1947 USA), Felipe Barbosa (1978 Brazil), David Byrne (1952 Scotland), Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller (1957 & 1960 Canada)*, William Cordova (1971 Peru), Moyra Davey (1958 Canada), Kevin Ei-ichi deForest (1962 Canada), Jeroen Diepenmaat (1978 Netherlands), Sean Duffy (1966 USA), Yukio Fujimoto (1950 Japan), Jack Goldstein (1945 Canada), Rodney Graham (1949 Canada)*, Harrison Haynes (1973 USA)*, Gregor Hildebrandt (1974 Germany), Satch Hoyt (1957 UK), Jasper Johns (1930 USA), Taiyo Kimura (1970 Japan), Tim Lee (1975 Korea), Ralph Lemon (1952 USA), Christian Marclay (1955 USA), David McConnell (1975 USA), Mingering Mike (1950 USA), Dave Muller (1964 USA), Ujino Muneteru (1964 Japan), Vik Muniz and Carlos da Silva Assunção Filho aka Cafi (1961 & 1950 Brazil)*, Patrick Douthit aka 9th Wonder (1975 USA)*, DJ Rekha (1971 UK)*, Robin Rhode (1976 South Africa), Dario Robleto (1972 USA), Ed Ruscha (1937 USA), Malick Sidibé (1935 Mali), Xaviera Simmons (1974 USA), Mark Soo (1977 Singapore), Meredyth Sparks (1972 USA), Su-Mei Tse (1973 Luxembourg), Fatimah Tuggar (1967 Nigeria), Alice Wagner (1974 Peru), Carrie Mae Weems (1953 USA), and Lyota Yagi (1980 Japan).
* "Cover to Cover" crate curator list

The accompanying Cover to Cover installation installation features 7 listening stations designed by 9 artists and musicians who each curated a crate of 20 albums that tell a story through the cover visuals. Visitors will peruse the crates and with headphones listen to records on record players.


The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated 216-page color catalogue distributed by Duke University Press and available at the ICA Store and at the Nasher Museum Store ($45, paperback). It includes an introduction by curator Trevor Schoonmaker, statements by each artist in the exhibition and essays that balance personal reflection with critical exploration and scholarly analysis. Contributors include:


Trevor Schoonmaker, Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Curator of Contemporary Art at the Nasher Museum, organized the exhibition. His previous exhibitions at the Nasher Museum include Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool (2008-10) and Street Level: Mark Bradford, William Cordova and Robin Rhode (2007-08). Prior to joining the Nasher Museum his exhibitions included The Beautiful Game: Contemporary Art and Fútbol (2006), DTroit (2003-04), and Black President: The Art and Legacy of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti (2003-05). He edited the book Fela: From West Africa to West Broadway.

Thank You

The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl is made possible by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Major support is provided by Marilyn M. Arthur, the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, Duke University's Council for the Arts, the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, Charles Weinraub and Emily Kass, E. Blake Byrne, Barbra and Andrew Rothschild, Christen and Derek Wilson, and the Graduate Liberal Studies program at Duke University. This program is supported in part, by public funds from the Netherlands Cultural Services. Additional support is provided by Dr. and Mrs. Robert F. Allen, Catherine Karmel, Peggy and John Murray, Francine and Benson Pilloff, Caroline and Arthur Rogers, Olympia Stone and Sims Preston, Angela O. Terry, Richard Tigner, Nancy Palmer Wardropper, Peter Lange and Lori Leachman, Lauren and Neill Goslin and Merge Records.


The media sponsor for the presentation in Boston is:

Image credit: Fatimah Tuggar, "Turntable" (work on which "Fai-fain Gramophone," 2010, is based) (detail), 1996. Record player, raffia discs with labels, music by Barmani Choge, entertainment center; dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.

Photo of Trevor Schoonmaker by Hank Willis Thomas

Website design by David Colagiovanni and Benjamin Dauer.