melvin edwards in 'witness: art and civil rights in the sixties' at blanton museum of art, texas

15 February 2015
Melvin Edwards features in 'Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties', a group exhibition that has travelled from Brooklyn Museum, New York to Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire and now opens at Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas, USA.

The exhibition offers a focused look at painting, sculpture, graphics, and photography from a decade defined by social protest and American race relations. In observance of the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the exhibition considers how sixty-six of the decade's artists, including African Americans and some of their white, Latino, Asian American, Native American, and Caribbean contemporaries, used wide-ranging aesthetic approaches to address the struggle for racial justice.

The 1960s was a period of dramatic social and cultural upheaval, when artists aligned themselves with the massive campaign to end discrimination and bridged racial borders through creative work and acts of protest. Bringing activism to bear in gestural and geometric abstraction, assemblage, Minimalism, Pop imagery, and photography, these artists produced powerful works informed by the experience of inequality, conflict, and empowerment. In the process, they tested the political viability of their art, and originated subjects that spoke to resistance, self-definition, and blackness.

'Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties' is organized by Teresa A. Carbone, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of American Art, Brooklyn Museum, and Kellie Jones, Associate Professor, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University. A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

Major support for this exhibition is provided by the Ford Foundation.

The exhibition runs from 15 February until 10 May 2015.

Melvin Edwards at Blanton Museum of Art, Texas.