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Melvin Edwards

A Conversation with Norman Lewis, 1979

Melvin Edwards included in Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art, curated by Christopher Bedford and Katy Siegel, at Baltimore Museum of Art, MD.

The institution's press release follows: 

When the acclaimed touring exhibition Solidary & Solitary reaches the BMA, it will significantly expand to more than 80 paintings, sculptures, and mixed media works and take on a new title, Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art. The exhibition offers a sweeping new perspective on the contributions black artists have made to the evolution of visual art from the 1940s to the present moment. Artists featured include pioneers of postwar abstraction once overlooked by history, such as Norman  Lewis, Alma W. Thomas, and Jack Whitten, as well as artists from a younger generation such as Kevin Beasley, Mark Bradford, Martin Puryear, Lorna Simpson, and many others.

A central theme of the exhibition is the power of abstract art as a political choice as well as a personal statement for generations of black artists. The freedoms of postwar abstraction took on specific urgency as these artists resisted both the imagery of racist mainstream culture and pressures to create prescribed, positive representations of  black Americans. The exhibition draws on the Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida Collection’s unparalleled holdings alongside highlights from the BMA’s growing collection of contemporary art and select loans.

Curated by Christopher Bedford, BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director, and Katy Siegel BMA Senior Research Curator  and Thaw Chair at Stony Brook University

Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art is presented by The Helis Foundation and organized by The Baltimore Museum of Art and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

Contributing sponsorship is provided by The Lambent Foundation and The Holt Family Foundation.

The presentation in Baltimore is generously sponsored by The Alvin and Fanny B. Thalheimer Exhibition Endowment Fund, The Ford Foundation, Suzanne F. Cohen Exhibition Fund, The Dorman/Mazaroff Contemporary Endowment Fund, Bank of America, and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield.

Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art
September 29, 2019 – January 19, 2020
Baltimore Museum of Art
Baltimore, MD