Skip to content

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades

Nasher Sculpture Center

January 31 – May 10, 2015

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, Installation View, Nasher Sculpture Center (2015)

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, Installation View, Nasher Sculpture Center (2015)

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, Installation View, Nasher Sculpture Center (2015)

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, Installation View, Nasher Sculpture Center (2015)

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, Installation View, Nasher Sculpture Center (2015)

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, Installation View, Nasher Sculpture Center (2015)

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, Installation View, Nasher Sculpture Center (2015)

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, Installation View, Nasher Sculpture Center (2015)

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, Installation View, Nasher Sculpture Center (2015)

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, Installation View, Nasher Sculpture Center (2015)

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, Installation View, Nasher Sculpture Center (2015)

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, Installation View, Nasher Sculpture Center (2015)

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, Installation View, Nasher Sculpture Center (2015)

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, Installation View, Nasher Sculpture Center (2015)

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, Installation View, Nasher Sculpture Center (2015)

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, Installation View, Nasher Sculpture Center (2015)

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, Installation View, Nasher Sculpture Center (2015)

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, Installation View, Nasher Sculpture Center (2015)

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, Installation View, Nasher Sculpture Center (2015)

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, Installation View, Nasher Sculpture Center (2015)

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, Installation View, Nasher Sculpture Center (2015)

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, Installation View, Nasher Sculpture Center (2015)

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, Installation View, Nasher Sculpture Center (2015)

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, Installation View, Nasher Sculpture Center (2015)

Chaino (1963) Welded steel and chains

Chaino (1963)
Welded steel and chains
62 x 102 x 26 in (157.48h x 259.08w x 66.04d cm)

Afro Phoenix No. 1 (1963)

Afro Phoenix No. 1 (1963)
Welded steel
12.5h x 9.5w x 4d in (31.8h x 24.1w x 10.2d cm)

Ace (1963) Welded steel

Ace (1963)
Welded steel
8.5h x 5.5w x 5d in (21.6h x 14w x 12.7d cm)

Some Bright Morning (1963)

Some Bright Morning (1963)
Welded steel
14.5h x 9.3w x 5d in (36.8h x 23.6w x 12.7d cm)

August the Squared Fire (1965)

August the Squared Fire (1965)
Welded steel
44h x 30w x 40d in (111.8h x 76.2w x 101.6d cm)

Mamba (1965) Welded steel

Mamba (1965)
Welded steel
10.5h x 9w x 9.8d in (26.7h x 22.9w x 24.9d cm)

The Lifted X (1965)

The Lifted X (1965)
Welded steel
65h x 45w x 22d in (165.1h x 114.3w x 55.9d cm)

Mojo for 1404 (1964)

Mojo for 1404 (1964)
Welded steel
10h x 6.5w x 4.5d in (25.4h x 16.5w x 11.4d cm)

Untitled (Prototype III Three Small Sculptures) (1965-66)

Untitled (Prototype III Three Small Sculptures) (1965-66)
Welded steel
5.5h x 6w x 6.75d in (14h x 15.2w x 17.1d cm)

Untitled (Prototype I from Three Small Sculptures) (1965-66)

Untitled (Prototype I from Three Small Sculptures) (1965-66)
Welded steel
7h x 7.5w x 6.75d in (17.8h x 19.1w x 17.1d cm)

The Fourth Circle (1966)

The Fourth Circle (1966)
Painted steel
48h x 72w x 60d in (121.9h x 182.9w x 152.4d cm)

Cotton Hangup (1966)

Cotton Hangup (1966)
Welded steel
26h x 30w x 20d in (66h x 76.2w x 50.8d cm)

Untitled (Prototype II Three Small Sculptures) (1965-66)

Untitled (Prototype II Three Small Sculptures) (1965-66)
Welded steel
6.75h x 7.5w x 7.5d in (17.1h x 19.1w x 19.1d cm)

Double Chain (1966)

Double Chain (1966)
Welded steel
16.5h x 16.5w x 11d in (41.9h x 41.9w x 27.9d cm)

Homage to the Music and the Musicians (1966)

Homage to the Music and the Musicians (1966)
Painted, welded steel
35.5h x 42w x 30d in (90.2h x 106.7w x 76.2d cm)

Maquette for Pyramid Up/Pyramid Down (1969)

Maquette for Pyramid Up/Pyramid Down (1969)
Wood and barbed wire
13.3h x 15.5w x 15.5d in (33.8h x 39.4w x 39.4d cm)

Untitled (Prototype Cuff) (1969)

Untitled (Prototype Cuff) (1969)
Welded steel
10.25h x 23w x 2.5d in (26h x 58.4w x 6.4d cm)

Study for Pyramid Up and Down Pyramid (1969-1970)

Study for Pyramid Up and Down Pyramid (1969-1970)
Ink on paper
19.13h x 24w in (48.6h x 61w cm)

Untitled (Prototype Square Sculpture) (1969-72)

Untitled (Prototype Square Sculpture) (1969-72)
Welded steel
8h x 15.5w x 16d in (20.3h x 39.4w x 40.6d cm)

Untitled (Prototype Lock) (1969-72)

Untitled (Prototype Lock) (1969-72)
Painted welded steel
3h x 30.25w x 5d in (7.6h x 76.8w x 12.7d cm)

Curtain for William and Peter (1969)

Curtain for William and Peter (1969)
Barbed wire and chain
138.5h x 220w in (351.8h x 558.8w cm)

Pyramid Up and Down (1969)

Pyramid Up and Down (1969)
Barbed Wire

Corner for Ana (1970)

Corner for Ana (1970)
Barbed Wire
Dimensions variable

"Look through minds mirror distance and measure time" – Jayne Cortez (1970)

"Look through minds mirror distance and measure time" – Jayne Cortez (1970)
Barbed Wire

Study for Homage to Coco (1970)

Study for Homage to Coco (1970)
Watercolor On Paper
18.13h x 24.13w in (46.1h x 61.3w cm)

Untitled barbed wire study (1970)

Untitled barbed wire study (1970)
Graphite on paper
18.13h x 24.13w in (46.1h x 61.3w cm)

Study for barbed wire piece (1970)

Study for barbed wire piece (1970)
Ink on paper
18.13h x 24.13w in (46.1h x 61.3w cm)

Untitled Barbed Wire Study II (1970)

Untitled Barbed Wire Study II (1970)
Graphite on paper
18.13h x 24.13w in (46.1h x 61.3w cm)

Spring (1973) Welded steel

Spring (1973)
Welded steel
11h x 6w x 8d in (27.9h x 15.2w x 20.3d cm)

Ventana a Isla Negra (1973)

Ventana a Isla Negra (1973)
Welded steel and barbed wire
44.4h x 48w x 20d in (112.8h x 121.9w x 50.8d cm)

Nam (1973) Welded steel

Nam (1973)
Welded steel
15h x 15w x 7.5d in (38.1h x 38.1w x 19.1d cm)

Koyo (1973) Welded steel

Koyo (1973)
Welded steel
11.5h x 7w x 12d in (29.2h x 17.8w x 30.5d cm)

Untitled (Spray paint drawing) (1974)

Untitled (Spray paint drawing) (1974)
Spray paint on newsprint (5 parts)
22.5h x 29.13w in (57.2h x 74w cm)

Untitled (Spray paint drawing) (1974)

Untitled (Spray paint drawing) (1974)
Spray paint on newsprint (5 parts)
22.5h x 29.13w in (57.2h x 74w cm)

Untitled (Spray paint drawing) (1974)

Untitled (Spray paint drawing) (1974)
Spray paint on newsprint (5 parts)
22.5h x 29.13w in (57.2h x 74w cm)

Untitled (Spray paint drawing) (1974)

Untitled (Spray paint drawing) (1974)
Spray paint on newsprint (5 parts)
22.5h x 29.13w in (57.2h x 74w cm)

Untitled (Spray paint drawing) (1974)

Untitled (Spray paint drawing) (1974)
Spray paint on newsprint (5 parts)
22.5h x 29.13w in (57.2h x 74w cm)

Upright (1974) Welded steel and barbed wire

Upright (1974)
Welded steel and barbed wire
20.8h x 13.1w x 7.5d in (52.8h x 33.3w x 19.1d cm)

Conversations with My Father (1974)

Conversations with My Father (1974)
Painted welded steel
47.5h x 53w x 57d in (120.7h x 134.6w x 144.8d cm)

Avenue B (1975)

Avenue B (1975)
Welded steel
23.75h x 30.5w x 18.25d in (60.3h x 77.5w x 46.4d cm)

Ame Eghan (1975)

Ame Eghan (1975)
Welded steel
12.5h x 19.5w x 19.5d in (31.8h x 49.5w x 49.5d cm)

Plainfield No.1 (1976)

Plainfield No.1 (1976)
Steel
11h x 27.5w x 17.5d in (27.9h x 69.9w x 44.5d cm)

Begin Again (1979)

Begin Again (1979)
Welded steel
10h x 8.3w x 4.5d in (25.4h x 21.1w x 11.4d cm)

Gulley Hammer (1980)

Gulley Hammer (1980)
Welded steel
9.8h x 7w x 8d in (24.9h x 17.8w x 20.3d cm)

To Wifredo Lam (1982)

To Wifredo Lam (1982)
Welded steel
24.9h x 31.5w x 19.3d in (63.2h x 80w x 49d cm)

Steel Life (1985-1991)

Steel Life (1985-1991)
Welded steel
12.5h x 18w x 17.75d in (31.8h x 45.7w x 45.1d cm)

Ways of Steel (1988)

Ways of Steel (1988)
Welded steel
17h x 32.3w x 14.6d in (43.2h x 82w x 37.1d cm)

Maquette for Confirmation (1989)

Maquette for Confirmation (1989)
Stainless Steel
13h x 20.9w x 9.4d in (33h x 53.1w x 23.9d cm)

To Listen (1990)

To Listen (1990)
Stainless Steel
89.5h x 15.5w x 37d in (227.3h x 39.4w x 94d cm)

Words of Fanon (1992)

Words of Fanon (1992)
Welded steel
22h x 14w x 7.5d in (55.9h x 35.6w x 19.1d cm)

Iraq (2003) Welded steel

Iraq (2003)
Welded steel
13h x 7w x 7d in (33h x 17.8w x 17.8d cm)

Dakar (2004) Welded steel

Dakar (2004)
Welded steel
27h x 17w x 7.4d in (68.6h x 43.2w x 18.8d cm)

Benefane (2004) Welded steel

Benefane (2004)
Welded steel
18.5h x 17.5w x 7.75d in (47h x 44.5w x 19.7d cm)

Loving Spiral (2005)

Loving Spiral (2005)
Welded steel
11.8h x 8w x 11d in (30h x 20.3w x 27.9d cm)

Beyond Cabo Verde (2006)

Beyond Cabo Verde (2006)
Welded steel
19.75h x 19.75w x 6.75d in (50.2h x 50.2w x 17.1d cm)

Bara Niasse Tugge  (2008)

Bara Niasse Tugge (2008)
Welded steel
14.5h x 6.5w x 6.8d in (36.8h x 16.5w x 17.3d cm)

Max Bond Architect  (2009)

Max Bond Architect (2009)
Welded steel
13h x 10w x 9d in (33h x 25.4w x 22.9d cm)

Studies for The Lifted X (c. 1965)

Studies for The Lifted X (c. 1965)
Ink and graphite on paper
6h x 4w in (15.2h x 10.2w cm)

Untitled (Prototype Triple Circle) (c. 1968-69)

Untitled (Prototype Triple Circle) (c. 1968-69)
Painted welded steel
10h x 14.5w x 10d in (25.4h x 36.8w x 25.4d cm)

Cayuga (c. 1969-70)

Cayuga (c. 1969-70)
Welded steel
5.75h x 16.25w x 2d in (14.6h x 41.3w x 5.1d cm)

Untitled (Prototype Small Rocker) (c. 1970)

Untitled (Prototype Small Rocker) (c. 1970)
Welded steel
7h x 10.5w x 10d in (17.8h x 26.7w x 25.4d cm)

Djeri Djeff (c. 2004)

Djeri Djeff (c. 2004)
Welded steel
11.25h x 7.25w x 5.75d in (28.6h x 18.4w x 14.6d cm)

Beyond Rufisque (c. 2004)

Beyond Rufisque (c. 2004)
Welded steel
12h x 7.25w x 5.75d in (30.5h x 18.4w x 14.6d cm)

Wayou Mbau (Song of Mbau) (c. 2006)

Wayou Mbau (Song of Mbau) (c. 2006)
Welded steel
19.75h x 19.75w x 7d in (50.2h x 50.2w x 17.8d cm)

Press Release

Melvin Edwards: Five Decades

Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas
January 13, 2015 - May 10, 2015

Zimmerli Museum of Art, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
September 1, 2015 – January 3, 2016

Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH
February 12 - May 8, 2016

Melvin Edwards retrospective exhibition Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, curated by Catherine Craft at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, TX.

The exhibition, the first survey of Edwards' work since 1993, presents a range of his achievements including the Lynch Fragments, seminal large scale sculptures from the 1960s, as well as groundbreaking installations made with barbed-wire dating from the 1960s and 1970s. The exhibition features the recreation of Edwards' landmark 1970 barbed-wire installation at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Melvin Edwards: Five Decades will provide a new focus on the role of place in Edwards' art, encompassing his upbringing in Texas and Ohio, his artistic emergence in Los Angeles in the early 1960s, the artist's experiences in New York, and his frequent trips to Africa.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated scholarly catalog with essays by curator Catherine Craft, and art historians Alex Potts and Tobias Wofford.

Installation images: Kevin Todora