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Melvin Edwards



Combination, 2005, Welded steel

Combination, 2005

Welded steel

11h x 8w x 10d in (27.94h x 20.32w x 25.40d cm)

Machete for Gregory, 1974, Welded steel, barbed wire, and chain

Machete for Gregory, 1974

Welded steel, barbed wire, and chain

31h x 40w in (78.74h x 101.60w cm)

Point of View, c. 1981, Welded steel

Point of View, c. 1981

Welded steel

13h x 13w in (33.02h x 33.02w cm)

Tools at Rest, 1973, Welded steel

Tools at Rest, 1973

Welded steel

15h x 35w x 29d in (38.10h x 88.90w x 73.66d cm)

Five to the Bar, 1973, Welded steel and barbed wire

Five to the Bar, 1973

Welded steel and barbed wire

14h x 20.50w x 20d in (35.56h x 52.07w x 50.80d cm)

Steel Life, 1985-1991, Welded steel

Steel Life, 1985-1991

Welded steel

12.50h x 18w x 17.75d in (31.75h x 45.72w x 45.09d cm)

Waiting for Yesterday, 1990-1993, Welded steel

Waiting for Yesterday, 1990-1993

Welded steel

14.40h x 27.80w x 22.60d in (36.58h x 70.61w x 57.40d cm)

The Way It Is, 1992, Welded steel

The Way It Is, 1992

Welded steel

18.25h x 21w x 16.50d in (46.36h x 53.34w x 41.91d cm)

August the Squared Fire, 1965, Welded steel

August the Squared Fire, 1965

Welded steel

44h x 30w x 40d in (111.76h x 76.20w x 101.60d cm)

Cotton Hangup, 1966, Welded steel

Cotton Hangup, 1966

Welded steel

32h x 30w x 30d in (81.28h x 76.20w x 76.20d cm)

The Fourth Circle, 1966, Painted steel

The Fourth Circle, 1966

Painted steel

48h x 72w x 60d in (121.92h x 182.88w x 152.40d cm)

Avenue B, 1975, Welded steel

Avenue B, 1975

Welded steel

23.75h x 30.50w x 18.25d in (60.33h x 77.47w x 46.36d cm)

Ventana a Isla Negra, 1973, Welded steel and barbed wire

Ventana a Isla Negra, 1973

Welded steel and barbed wire

44.40h x 48w x 20d in (112.78h x 121.92w x 50.80d cm)

To Wifredo Lam, 1982, Welded steel

To Wifredo Lam, 1982

Welded steel

24.90h x 31.50w x 19.30d in (63.25h x 80.01w x 49.02d cm)

Upright, 1974, Welded steel and barbed wire

Upright, 1974

Welded steel and barbed wire

20.80h x 13.10w x 7.50d in (52.83h x 33.27w x 19.05d cm)

Level, 1973, Welded steel and barbed wire

Level, 1973

Welded steel and barbed wire

12.80h x 13.60w x 6d in (32.51h x 34.54w x 15.24d cm)

Chaino, 1964, Welded steel and chains

Chaino, 1964

Welded steel and chains

62h x 102w x 26d in (157.48h x 259.08w x 66.04d cm)

The Lifted X, 1965, Welded steel

The Lifted X, 1965

Welded steel

65h x 45w x 22d in (165.10h x 114.30w x 55.88d cm)


Melvin Edwards

A pioneer in contemporary sculpture and African American art, for more than five decades Melvin Edwards has explored the history of race, labor, violence, and the African Diaspora. Distinguished by their formal simplicity and powerful materiality, his works infuse content into the reductive language of Minimalism. Amalgamations of scrap metal, chain, barbed wire, and industrial elements, Edwards’ sculptures reference his Texas childhood; memorialize civil rights and anti-colonial struggles and activists; pay homage to artists, writers, and musicians; commemorate friends and family members; and allude to his extensive travels in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe. Capitalizing on what the curator Catherine Craft calls the “the multivalent practical possibilities of … material,” the conceptually and formally rich structure of these works welcomes viewers to construct narratives around history, place, and social injustice.