Melvin Edwards in 'LA Blacksmith' at California African American Museum, California, USA

LA Blacksmith is a group exhibition at California African American Museum, California, USA, curated by Jill Moniz. Black artists in Los Angeles have worked with metal for decades, exploring its historic and symbolic significance and for a wide variety of sociocultural, political, and practical considerations. LA Blacksmith highlights this rich tradition by combining historic metalsmithing with works of contemporary art.

Beginning with Beulah Woodard's homages to African mask making, LA Blacksmith examines how the Watts Rebellion and other political and aesthetic ideas shaped midcentury metalwork. The exhibition highlights how contemporary artists explore metal as appropriation, power, and play in twenty-first century Los Angeles. For these artists, metalwork layers the tension between tradition and resistance, preciousness and posture, as well as the sacred and the profane.

 The exhibition includes: Joseph Beckles, Kendell Carter, Adrienne DeVine, Charles Dickson, Melvin Edwards, Charla Elizabeth, Maren Hassinger, Artis Lane, Ed Love, Kori Newkirk, John Outterbridge, Duane Paul, Noah Purifoy, John Riddle, Alison Saar, Betye Saar, Gerard Basil Stripling, Kehinde Wiley, Glen Wilson, Beulah Woodard, and Suné Woods. 

10 September 2019–16 February 2020

Melvin Edwards at California African American Museum