I m designing conceptual album artwork for my portfolio. Is it necessary to ask permission to use the name of the artist and album title on this concept work? I assume so but who would I ask? Thanks :)
You could invent a name or you could caption it as "An alternative cover treatment inspired by The Beatles' Yellow Submarine".
That way you are not infringing any intellectual property or claiming for yourself work done by someone else.
It sounds to me like you are COPYING, not designing. There is a big difference. Learn it, and use your own artwork.
There's a serious contradiction in your question. If you are designing the conceptual album, you are the artist. Why would you need to ask your own permission?
If you meant to say that you want to use existing album art IN your artwork portfolio, then you aren't creating original designs, you are making derivative works using the work of others, and in that case, you must obtain a licensing agreement with the works' owners. The owner of an album's artwork may not necessarily be the recording artist. You may need agreements with multiple parties.
Why not invent a name?