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Melvin Edwards

Melvin Edwards, Ida W.B., 1990

Melvin Edwards included in the group exhibition A Site of Struggle traveling to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts in Alabama.

The institution's press release follows:

A Site of Struggle: American Art against Anti-Black Violence explores how artists have grappled with the reality of anti-black violence and its accompanying challenges of representation. From the horrors of slavery and lynching, to the violent suppression of civil rights struggles, to recent acts of police brutality, targeted violence has been an ever-present fact of Black lives in the United States, and images of African American suffering and death have constituted an enduring part of the nation’s cultural landscape.

The exhibition and its companion publication will investigate the conceptual and aesthetic strategies artists and activists use to engage with the issue of anti-black violence, highlighting diverse works of art and ephemera from the late nineteenth century to the present day. A Site of Struggle includes artworks in modes from realism to abstraction, and in a range of mediums including photography, painting, sculpture, video, and sound and focuses, primarily, on the underexposed period between the beginning of anti-lynching campaigns in the 1890s and Emmett Till’s murder in 1955, as well as on works made between the 1970s and the founding of Black Lives Matter in 2013. This framing shows that grappling with anti-Black violence has been a consistent, not isolated, feature of American art. Works in the exhibition made after 2013 engage with historical events that happened prior to that date.