In honor of our 25th anniversary, we are bringing to life iconic album covers from the label’s history. From July 18 through August 9, the original artwork from seminal albums by Superchunk, Lambchop, Arcade Fire, Spoon, and over 40 others will be displayed at LIGHT Art+Design in Chapel Hill, NC.
The exhibit aims to unite art and music fans by taking them beyond the static dimensions of CDs and vinyl and showing them how artwork remains an integral part of the album-making process. Those familiar with Merge Records will be able to personally experience images they know and love in their original format, while new fans will have a chance to view works by well-known artists such as Kara Walker, Dan Graham, and Wayne White, among others.
Merge co-founder Mac McCaughan shared the inspiration behind the show:
Every five years we throw a big party and lots of bands play and people come from all over to join us, and every five years we like to change it up a little or add new elements to the experience.
Inspired both by the community we live in—where you can see incredible art at numerous museums and galleries—and by the artists we work with every day, we decided to populate a great local space with some of the original art that’s made it onto the covers of Merge releases over the last 25 years.
It’s great to see these images, some of them iconic by now, in their original state and scale and in a different context than they’ve been seen before (that is, in the company of each other, and not in a record store).
An opening reception will be held on Friday, July 18, from 6–9 p.m. at LIGHT Art+Design and will include a performance by Merge artists Shark Quest. This event is free and open to the public.
Following the opening event, one of our favorite watering holes, Bowbarr, is hosting an after-party. Fellow musician and artist Harrison Haynes will be DJ-ing along with STRIDER + MARIE, and art by silkscreen artist Ron Liberti (of Pipe) and photography by Soleil Konkel will be on display.
Unbelievable Things: 25 Years of Art on Merge Records will be on exhibit through August 9, including art by:
John Austin * Laura Ballance * Ted Bois * Jeff Brouws * Brian Calvin * Ashley North Compton * Count de Buffon * Ian Dingman *Beverly Dixon * Laird Shropshire Dixon * Marcel Dzama * Jason Evans * Neil Farber * Dan Graham * Harrison Haynes * Maya Hayuk * Sydney Hermant * Hamish Kilgour * Tracy Maurice * Mac McCaughan * Wendy Moore * Phil Morrison * Kristin Oppenheim * Shaun Richards * Michael Rubenstein * Chris Verene * Kurt Wagner * Kara Walker * Daryl Waller * Steven Walls * Marci Washington * Wayne White * Andrea Zittel