Melvin Edwards

Melvin Edwards

African-American
b. 1937
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Overview

Melvin Edwards is a pioneer in the history of contemporary African-American art.

Melvin Edwards is a pioneer in the history of contemporary African-American art.

Melvin Edwards was born in 1937 in Houston, USA. He lives and works just outside of New York, USA and Dakar, Senegal.

Edwards is celebrated for his distinctive sculptures and three-dimensional installations created from welded steel, barbed wire, chain and machine parts. While the artist's formal language clearly engages with the history of abstraction and modern sculpture, Edwards' work is born out of the social and political turmoil of the civil rights movement in the United States. Themes of race, protest and social injustice permeate the artist’s practice.

The artist's career began in southern California with a solo exhibition at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in 1965. In 1970, Edwards went on to become the first African-American sculptor to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, presenting a ground-breaking installation of work made from barbed wire.

Selected Artworks

Melvin Edwards

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