Melvin Edwards

American, b. 1937

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Melvin Edwards

American, b. 1937

282
Followers
Biography

A pioneering sculptor fusing political engagement with abstraction, Melvin Edwards draws inspiration from his African heritage, while referencing modernist steel sculpture. He welds industrial found objects, such as hammer heads, scissors, locks, chains, and railroad splices, into new, dense forms that allude to the brutality of the African American experience. His best known series “Lynch Fragment” is an ongoing project on which he has worked, variously, in response to racial violence (1963-67); as a form of activism against the Vietnam War (1973-74); and as a reconceived means of recognizing admirable individuals and exploring a personal fascination with African culture (1978-). The sculptures, measuring approximately 12-18 inches, typically hang at eye level in an unbroken line across the gallery walls, provoking thoughts and associations of violence, humor, and hope.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Nasher Sculpture Center
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 4 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 5 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 3 more
Biography

A pioneering sculptor fusing political engagement with abstraction, Melvin Edwards draws inspiration from his African heritage, while referencing modernist steel sculpture. He welds industrial found objects, such as hammer heads, scissors, locks, chains, and railroad splices, into new, dense forms that allude to the brutality of the African American experience. His best known series “Lynch Fragment” is an ongoing project on which he has worked, variously, in response to racial violence (1963-67); as a form of activism against the Vietnam War (1973-74); and as a reconceived means of recognizing admirable individuals and exploring a personal fascination with African culture (1978-). The sculptures, measuring approximately 12-18 inches, typically hang at eye level in an unbroken line across the gallery walls, provoking thoughts and associations of violence, humor, and hope.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Nasher Sculpture Center
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 4 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 5 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 3 more
Shows Featuring Melvin Edwards