360 Speaker Series: Melvin Edwards

Artist

January 31, 2015

A pioneering figure in African-American art, Melvin Edwards has redefined the modernist tradition of welded metal sculpture with his imaginative and defiant explorations of social, political, and personal issues. 

The Nasher’s ongoing speaker series features conversations and lectures on the ever-expanding definition of sculpture and the minds behind some of the world’s most innovative artwork, architecture, and design.  

Melvin Edwards is best known for the Lynch Fragments, an ongoing series borne out of the turbulence of the civil rights movement, in which ax heads, chains, railroad spikes, and other implements are fused together in powerfully compressed, abstract configurations emblematic of repressed violence and the constructive possibilities of resistance.

Edwards’ career spans crucial periods of upheaval and change in American culture and society, and his sculpture provides a critical bridge between modernist techniques and materials and more contemporary approaches to the art object.  Of his 1970 installation at the Whitney, David Hammons has commented, “I couldn’t believe that piece when I saw it because I didn’t think you could make abstract art with a message.”

The artist speaks in conjunction with the exhibition, Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, the first major touring retrospective of this seminal sculptor’s work in more than twenty years.


Sponsors

Support for the 360 series is underwritten in part by Sylvia Hougland, in honor of her husband, Curtis Hougland.
Supported in part by: City of Dallas, Office of Cultural Affairs
Media Partner: Glasstire