Melvin Edwards
American, born 1937
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
A Constellation,
The Studio Museum in Harlem
Melvin Edwards: Five Decades,
Nasher Sculpture Center
Melvin Edwards,
Alexander Gray Associates

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.